METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) saw its net profit surge by 77% in the third quarter on the back of its robust lending portfolio, better margins, healthy fee income and lower loan loss provisions.
The bank booked an attributable net income of P7.849 billion in the third quarter, up from the P4.436 billion it posted in the same period last year, based on its quarterly report disclosed to the local bourse on Friday.
This brought Metrobank’s attributable net profit for the first nine months of the year to P23.435 billion, 45% higher than the P16.123 billion it posted in the comparable year-ago period.
This translated to a return on average common equity of 9.96%, up from 6.7% the year prior, and a return on average assets of 1.19%, better than the 0.88% seen in 2021.
“We improved our profitability by taking on opportunities as the economy reopened while keeping our balance sheet strong and improving efficiency level,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee said in a statement.
“Our position of strength, and substantial reserves will enable us to continue supporting our customers as they navigate the impact of the global external headwinds. We will continue to focus on achieving a sustainable growth for the bank beyond our 60th year,” he added.
Metrobank’s net interest income rose by 18.2% to P22.272 billion in the third quarter from P18.84 billion a year prior.
Interest income went up by 19.2% to P26.008 billion from P21.812 billion last year on the back of higher interest earnings from investment securities.
However, higher interest expense on deposit liabilities drove a 25.66% increase in interest and finance charges to P3.736 billion from P2.973 billion in 2021.
In the first nine months, the bank’s net interest income climbed by 10% to P62.1 billion, with its net interest margin improving to 3.5%.
Meanwhile, other income decreased by 10.82% to P4.929 billion in the third quarter as it posted a P965-million net loss from trading, securities and foreign exchange versus a P289-million net gain last year.
This offset a 15.7% increase in fee-based earnings to P3.82 billion and a 6.7% rise in miscellaneous income to P2.07 billion.
For the first nine months, the bank’s other income climbed to P20.133 billion from P19.546 billion.
Metrobank’s operating costs stood at P15.103 billion in the third quarter, slightly higher than the P15.066 billion seen a year earlier.
Total provisions for credit and impairment losses amounted to P1.87 billion for the quarter, down 37.5% from the P2.99 billion seen in the same period last year.
The bank’s gross loans rose by 12% year-on-year to P1.4 trillion at end-September, driven by a 15% growth in corporate and commercial credit. It also saw a 22% increase in credit card receivables.
Its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was steady at 2.1%.
“Restructured loans improved to 0.5% of total loans, compared with the industry’s 2.7%. Ample NPL cover of 172% enabled the bank to further trim down provisions by 43% in the January to September period,” Metrobank said.
On the funding side, deposits with the bank grew by 11% to P2 trillion. Its low-cost current and savings accounts rose by 5% to P1.5 trillion.
Metrobank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 17.20% as of September, down from 20.66% a year ago, while its common equity Tier 1 ratio was at 16.34%, also lower than the 19.79% in 2021. Still, both remained above the central bank’s required minimum.
Metrobank had consolidated assets of P2.73 trillion and total equity of P308.9 billion at end-September.
The bank’s shares closed unchanged at P52.15 apiece on Friday. — Keisha B. Ta-asan