Metrobank net profit rises by 14.5%


METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) saw its net income rise by 14.45% in the first quarter as it booked higher loans, it said on Tuesday.

The lender’s attributable net income stood at P11.997 billion in the January-to-March period, up from P10.482 billion in the same period last year, its financial statement disclosed to the stock exchange showed.

This translated to a return on average equity of 13.67% and a return on average assets of 1.53%.

“The bank’s improving profitability was driven by consistent growth of its lending portfolio, better operational efficiencies, stable asset quality and continued execution of strategies to optimize the use of capital,” Metrobank said.

“As we remain focused on sustaining the bank’s profitability, our strong commitment to our customers is at the center of our growth strategy. We will consistently offer tailored financial solutions that directly address the needs and goals of those we serve to help them build a more prosperous future,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee said.

The bank’s net interest income grew by 15.38% year on year to P28.7 billion in the first quarter from P24.87 billion, driven by sustained growth in interest-earning assets and as its net interest margin improved to 4% from 3.9%.

“This was supported by the continued expansion of its gross loans, which rose by 12.1% year on year. Commercial loans jumped by 11.2%, partly driven by rising capital expenditures of corporates,” Metrobank said.

“The bank’s consumer loans portfolio remained robust, recording a 15.3% growth, led by a 25.5% increase in gross credit card receivables and 18.2% expansion in auto loans,” it added.

Meanwhile, other income declined by 19% to P6.58 billion from P8.13 billion due to lower net trading, securities, and foreign exchange gains, as well as fee income.

On the other hand, operating expenses grew by 6.54% to P18 billion in the first quarter from P16.9 billion a year prior.

As a result, Metrobank’s cost-to-income ratio stood at 51.3% in the period from 51.6% a year ago.

The bank set aside loan loss provisions of P562 million during the period, down by 76.51% year on year from P2.39 billion.

Despite the increase in loans, its nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio eased to 1.7% from 1.8%. NPL cover was at 174.1%.

On the funding side, total deposits rose by 4.9% year on year to P2.4 trillion at end-March, with its low-cost current and savings account or CASA deposits comprising 58.6% of the total.

Its loan-to-deposit ratio was at 67.07%.

Metrobank’s assets rose by 2.62% to P3.19 trillion as of March from P3.1 trillion at end-2023.

Meanwhile, total equity stood at P345.7 billion.

The bank’s capital adequacy ratio was at 16.8% while its common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 15.97%, down from 17.61% and 16.77% a year prior, respectively.

Its liquidity ratio was at 48.51% at end-March.

Metrobank’s shares closed unchanged at P70 apiece on Tuesday. — A.M.C. Sy