KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank Bhd posted a net profit of RM1.53bil in the first quarter ended March 31,2021, which was 15.12% higher than RM1.33bil in the previous corresponding quarter, on the back of further expansion of its loans and deposits businesses as well as fee-based revenue growth.
Revenue in the quarter was RM5.03bil or 8.79% lower year-on-year (y-o-y) from RM5.52bil in the comparative quarter. Earnings per share rose to 7.88 sen versus 6.85 sen a year earlier.
In a statement accompanying the results, Public Bank said total loans recorded an annualised growth of 4.8%, mainly supported by residential property financing, passenger vehicle financing and SME financing.
"With the low interest rate environment and economic stimulus measures, the group recorded improvements in its housing loans approvals, with an increase of 26.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
"Besides that, the group’s proactive promotion and participation in various special financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia to assist SMEs in overcoming their financial difficulties, had further contributed to the Group’s loan growth," said Public Bank founder and chairman emeritus Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow.
The group's total customer deposits achieved an annualised growth of 2.9% and domestic customer deposits registered annualised growth of 3%.
The lower-cost current and savings deposits continued to grow at a strong pace during the quarter with an annualised growth of 18.4%, said the group.
Meanwhile, non-interest income increased 16.6% year-on-year in the quarter due to stronger growth in the group's unit trust business, fee and commission income as well as stockbroking income.
“For the first quarter of 2021, the Public Bank Group’s unit trust business which is being managed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to its non-interest income.
"Public Mutual recorded a commendable performance in the first quarter of 2021, with its pre-tax profit growing by 33.6% quarter-on-quarter to RM216.6mil.
"As at the end of March 2021, Public Mutual continued to capture a large retail market share of 32.2% and managed a total of 166 unit trust funds with assets under management totalling RM101.3bil," he said.
For the quarter, cost-to-income ratio stood at 31.8%, which compared favourably to the domestic banking industry's 42.8%.
The gross impaired loan ratio was 0.4%, which was well below the banking industry's gross impaired loan ratio of 1.6%.
Liquidity coverage ratio stood at a healthy level of 128.3% as at end-March 2021.
As at the end of March 2021, the Public Bank Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at 13.8%, 13.8% and 16.9% respectively.
Moving forward, Teh said the group remains cautiously optimistic over the economic outlook and will strive for growth in its core business segments.
"The Public Bank Group is mindful of ongoing downside risks that could pose further disruptions to the banking business.
"Thus, strategic business direction, prudent risk management practices and cost efficiency measures will remain on the Group’s business agenda so that the Group can continue to withstand uncertainties and respond," he added.