RHB Capital and Southern Bank net profits sharply higher, dividends raised


BY JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU

RHB Capital Bhd and Southern Bank Bhd released yesterday financial results that showed sharply improved profitability, and both those banks declared higher dividends. 

RHB Capital reported a 29% increase in net profit to RM146.4mil for the first six months of its financial year ending June 2004 compared with the same period a year ago, while Southern Bank saw the net profit for its financial year ended Dec 2003 rise 19% to RM347.7mil. 

RHB Capital's earnings per share improved to 8 sen from 6.2 sen, while Southern Bank's earnings per share increased to 30.96 sen from 25.99 sen. 

RHB Capital declared a dividend of 3 sen per share less tax. Southern Bank announced a final dividend of 6 sen per share less tax and a special dividend of 15 sen per share less tax. 

Commenting on the results, RHB Group executive chairman Datuk Sri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib said in a statement: “The prospects for maintaining RHB Capital's good financial performance are positive, as the group continues to increasingly extract group-wide synergies amid improving equity market and economic conditions. 

“Fresh strategic initiatives, especially at RHB Bank, continue to be vigorously implemented as the group positions for strong and sustained growth.'' 

Southern Bank's chief executive director, Datuk T.H. Tan, in a separate statement said: “The excellent results for the year reflect the bank’s strong franchises in consumer banking, wealth management and in small- and medium-size enterprise banking.  

“We are very excited about the prospects for the coming year and we will capitalise on our strengths in the credit card, wealth management and retail lending businesses, which will benefit from a more buoyant and increasingly consumer-led economy. 

“Our investments to secure the future will continue and we will accelerate initiatives to improve sales, productivity, performance management, operational efficiency, talent management and risk management.  

“These initiatives have contributed significantly to our improving profitability and are critical to fulfilling our aspirations through organic and inorganic growth.'' 

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