Public Bank Q1 net profit up slightly to RM1.25b

PETALING JAYA: Public Bank Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (Q1FY17) increased by 1.5% to RM1.25 billion from RM1.23 billion in the previous corresponding quarter, due mainly to higher net interest income and income from Islamic banking business.

Revenue inched up 0.4% to RM5.03 billion, compared with RM5.01 billion in the same period last year.

In a statement yesterday, its chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow said the group’s profitability continued to be driven by its core retail banking business, underpinned by healthy growth in loans and deposits during the quarter, coupled with its sustained strong asset quality.

He added that it continued to sustain a satisfactory set of financial performance indicators as reflected in its net return on equity of 14.9%, gross impaired loans ratio of 0.5% and cost-to-income ratio of 34.3%.

In Q1FY17, Public Bank’s total gross loans increased at an annualised rate of 3.6%, with domestic loans growing faster at an annualised rate of 4.7%.

Furthermore, Teh said, the group’s unit trust business through Public Mutual grew by double digits in pre-tax profit for Q1FY17, compared with the previous corresponding period, capturing 45.8% retail market share of the private unit trust industry.
As at end of March 2017, Public Mutual had 135 unit trust funds under its management with a total net asset value of RM74.4 billion.

Commenting on the group’s prospects, Teh said the domestic banking industry will continue to hinge largely on operating environment conditions.

He said the ongoing expansion of the Malaysian economy anchored by sustained domestic demand is expected to remain conducive to banking business growth this year.

However, Teh said the various headwinds facing the economy will continue to place downside pressure on banks’ operations.

“While the Public Bank Group is confident that its strong market position and the PB brand will continue to drive business growth, the group will remain agile and responsive to various challenges and opportunities. The group will continue to take proactive efforts to ensure it remains on the trajectory towards meeting its 2017 growth targets,” he concluded.