Metrobank Q1 profit up 27% of P7.8 billion

Metrobank Q1 profit up 27% of P7.8 billion

MANILA, Philippines — Ty family-led Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) reported a 27 percent increase in earnings to P7.78 billion in the first quarter from P6.12 billion in the same quarter last year as provisioning for soured loans dropped.

Metrobank president Fabian Dee said the robust net income growth from January to March was due to stable asset quality, strong non-interest income performance, and marginal rise in operating expenses.

“Our strategy and prudent approach last year paved the way for a strong start in 2021,” Dee said.

He said the bank’s capital position is double the regulatory minimum with a capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 19.9 percent and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) of 19 percent.

Provision for credit and impairment for the first quarter fell by 50 percent to P2.5 billion from P5.04 billion a year ago despite the increase in non-performing loan (NPL) ratio to 2.4 percent from 1.4 percent.

Metrobank’s reserves cover improved to 166 percent as of end-March from 163 percent in end-2020.

“This ensures that Metrobank will sustain its business resilience, and we remain confident that the bank is ready to take on opportunities as the economy recovers. We are in a strong position to withstand a resurgence in asset quality risks and we remain vigilant even as we all continue to battle the pandemic,” Dee said.

Metrobank said its non-interest income went up by 27.7 percent to P7.94 billion in the first three months from P6.22 billion a year ago as fee-based revenue remained steady at P3.33 billion despite business activities still being slower than levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its trust fee income rose by 20 percent, in line with the 30 percent growth in assets under management.

The deposit base of the Ty-led bank recorded a 16 percent increase to P1.3 trillion from January to March.

“This enabled the bank to reduce high-cost time deposits, which partly mitigated the drop in asset yields arising from the rate cuts in the past year. With the pandemic still ongoing, loan demand remained slow, and naturally, net interest income trended lower. The bank’s balance sheet has remained very liquid and ready to support clients when business volumes start improving,” Metrobank said.

The operating expenses of the listed bank inched up by 1.4 percent to P14.7 billion from P14.5 billion on the back of sustained efforts to enhance productivity and operational efficiency. Cost-to-income ratio was recorded at 54.6 percent.

Metrobank is the second largest bank in the country with consolidated assets of P2.4 trillion and equity of P306.6 billion.