KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): Public Bank Bhd reported a 9% rise in fourth quarter net profit from a year earlier on higher interest and non-interest income. Bottom line was also helped by lower allowance for impaired loans.
In a statement to the exchange today, Public Bank said net profit came to RM992.47 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2012 (4QFY12) against RM913.39 million a year earlier while revenue grew by a similar quantum (9%) to RM3.63 billion from RM3.32 billion.
"The improved earnings was mainly due to higher net interest income and lower loan impairment charges resulting from strong loans and deposits growth and stable asset quality, higher net fee and commission income partially offset by higher other operating expenses," Public Bank said.
It is worth noting that the group had registered a RM5.34 million impairment on its assets in 4QFY12 compared to a write back of RM563,000 a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Public Bank's full-year net profit rose 5% to RM3.87 billion from RM3.68 billion a year earlier as revenue was up 10% to RM14.06 billion from RM12.76 billion.
Looking ahead, the group said it expects to sustain its strong market position within the domestic retail-loan segment. This will be helped by growth in consumer credit and small- and medium-sized enterprises loans.
According to the financial services provider, the group sees opportunities in residential property loans amid policymakers’ initiatives to increase home ownership especially in suburban areas.
Attractive offers and incentives from property developers are also expected to generate demand for real estate and mortgage facilities, the bank said.
"Despite intense competition, the Public Bank group is expected to sustain its residential property financing segment growth given its focus on home mortgages for owner occupation and the broader base mass-market segment which are expected to maintain healthy growth,” it said.
Public Bank is rewarding shareholders with a single-tier dividend of 30 sen a share in 4QFY12, bringing the year’s total payout to 50 sen a share.