Public Bank 9-month pre-tax profit up 13%


By ELAINE ANG

Public Bank Bhd's pre-tax profit jumped 13% to RM1.07bil for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2003, compared with the corresponding period last year on the back of a 15% increase in operating profit to RM1.37bil.  

For the third quarter, it recorded 11% higher pre-tax profit to RM383mil compared with the previous quarter. 

In a statement yesterday, Public Bank chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow said the group's net profit increased by 21% to RM689mil for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2003, compared with 2002. 

“The improved profits were mainly due to higher net interest income and income from Islamic banking operations resulting from continued healthy loans growth,” he said. 

Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow

Teh said loans and advances to customers during the first nine months grew 16% to RM45bil, compared with 4% for the industry for the first eight months of the year.  

“The group's loans growth is expected to exceed 20% for the year,” he said, adding that 88% of the group's loans went to the retail sector, particularly the small- and medium-sized enterprises and the purchase of residential properties and passenger vehicles. 

For the first nine months of the year, earnings per share improved by 16% to 11.5 sen from 9.9 sen in 2002 while net non-performing loans ratio improved to 2% from 2.4% and 3.8% as at the end of 2002 and 2001, respectively. 

In the same period, the group's commercial bank registered a 13% growth in operating revenue to RM1.86bil while pre-tax profit, excluding dividends from subsidiaries, was RM539mil, up 21% or RM92mil. Net non-performing loans ratio further improved to 1.9% from 2.4% at the end of 2002. 

Its finance arm Public Finance Bhd's pre-tax profit also improved in the nine-month period, by 10% to RM334mil, on the back of revenue growth of 20%. Loans grew by 21% during the period while net non-performing loans ratio declined to 1.9% from 2%. 

However, the group's overseas operations, based predominantly in Hong Kong, registered an 11% decline in pre-tax profit to RM101mil, due to lower net interest income from a lower loan base. 

Public Mutual Bhd, the group's asset management company, recorded an 18% increase in pre-tax profit to RM36mil, mainly due to an increase in management fees earned. The net asset value of its funds expanded by RM2.2bil or 39% to RM8bil as at Sept 30. 

Its offshore banking operations Public Bank (L) Ltd's pre-tax profit for the nine months grew to RM16mil from RM2mil in the corresponding period last year while Public Merchant Bank registered a 7% increase in pre-tax profit to RM11mil. 

 Stock Watch On PBBANK

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