By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Security Bank Corporation reported a 17 percent improvement in net profit to ₱10.1 billion last year on the back of a 33-percent jump in total revenues to ₱33.9 billion as core business income continued its growth momentum.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bank said its net interest income from customer loans and deposits/peso bond issuance grew 43 percent to ₱22.5 billion.
This was driven by the continued growth of retail loans and low-cost deposits.
Retail loans grew 56 percent, and now account for 29 percent of total loans versus 20 percent a year ago. Wholesale loans decreased 2 percent due to tempered loan demand and disciplined pricing. Total loans grew 9 percent to ₱456 billion.
Low-cost deposits increased 19 percent and grew to 45 percent of total deposits, up from 38 percent in 2018.
Net interest spread on loans and deposits/peso bond issuance in 2019 improved to 5.53 percent, up 112 basis points year-on-year.
Total net interest income increased 29 percent to ₱26.8 billion. Net interest margin in 2019 improved to 3.93 percent, up 66 basis points year-on-year.
Service charges, fees and commissions grew 40 percent to ₱4.1 billion. Fee income was driven by credit cards, loan fees, deposit charges and bancassurance.
Securities trading gains amounted to ₱1.5 billion, up 320 percent from ₱366 million in 2018. Total non-interest income increased 49 percent to ₱7.1 billion.
The bank set aside ₱4.2 billion for provision for credit losses in 2019, an increase from ₱714 million in 2018, driven by the rapid growth in retail loans and provisions for select commercial sectors.
Non-performing loans decreased by 18 percent from ₱6.5 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to ₱5.3 billion in the fourth quarter last year.
The gross NPL ratio decreased to 1.17 percent in the last quarter from 1.4 percent in the third quarter due to payments and recoveries.