28 April 2020, Makati City, Philippines – Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) posted net profit of Php 2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020, up 21% from year-ago level. Total revenues increased 75% to Php 13.2 billion, driven by sustained growth in core business income and securities trading gains. Excluding trading gains, total revenues grew 41% to Php 9.7 billion from the same period last year.
Total net interest income increased 41% to Php 8.1 billion. Net interest margin in Q1-2020 improved to 4.68%, up 129 basis points year-on-year. Total non-interest income increased 184% to Php 5.1 billion. Securities trading gains were Php 3.5 billion, 420% higher than Php 671 million a year ago.
Operating expense grew 28% driven primarily by manpower and costs related to business expansion. The cost-to-income ratio improved to 39.4% from 53.7% a year ago.
Pre-provision operating profit in Q1-2020 was Php 8 billion, 129% higher than a year ago. The Bank set aside Php 5.7 billion as provisionsfor credit lossesin Q1-2020. This is more than the fullyear 2019 provision for credit losses of Php 4.2 billion. Factors impacting the increase in provisions in Q1-2020 included: credit model refinements reflecting the Bank’s views on the current environment, headwinds in consumer and commercial lending, and the change in the loan mix towards more consumer loans. In view of the possible client impact of the pandemic, the Bank has initiated portfolio reviews, reassessed its provisioning, and intensified client engagement during this period.
Return on shareholders’ equity increased by 112 basis points to 9.8% from 8.6% in Q1-2019. Return on assets increased by 23 basis points to 1.47% from 1.24% in Q1-2019.
Balance sheet remains strong
Gross non-performing loan ratio of 1.59% remained better than industry peers’ 1.79% as of February 2020 based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data. NPL reserve cover was at 128% versus 129% a quarter ago and 186% a year ago.
Total loans grew 14% to Php 468 billion. Retail loans grew 44% year-on-year, and account for 29% of total loans. Wholesale loans grew 6%.
Total deposits grew 9% year-on-year to Php 503 billion. Low-cost deposits grew 30%. Low-cost deposits are 48% of total deposits, up from 40% a year ago.
The government imposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on March 17, 2020 as part of the measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Security Bank took various initiatives to secure the well-being of its employees, customers and stakeholders. For employees, the Bank undertook protective health measures, extended benefits, and provided logistical support. For customers, the Bank waived certain fees, provided loan payment due date extensions, and assisted clients through in-branch, call centers and online channels. For the community, the Bank supported advocacies in health care and education.
“We enter this period of challenge arising from the Covid-19 pandemic with a strong balance sheet and healthy liquidity and capital positions. We have the resources to serve our clients, protect our employees, and do our part to support our communities while maintaining the safety and soundness of the bank.” —Security Bank President & CEO, Sanjiv Vohra.
Security Bank continues to be among the country’s best capitalized private domestic universal banks. Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio was at 16.5%, same as a year ago. Total Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was at 17.6% versus 19.0% a year ago. Total assets increased 3% year-on-year to Php 783 billion. Shareholders’ capital increased 7% to Php 119 billion.
Security Bank declared cash dividends on March 31, 2020 with payment date on April 30, 2020 amounting Php 1.50 per common share, representing regular semestral cash dividend of Php 1.00 per share and a special cash dividend of Php 0.50 per share.