Public Bank's FY23 net profit rises to RM6.65bil

KUALA LUMPUR: The local banking sector is expected remain resilient with healthy capital and liquidity buffers, coupled with the sufficient pre-emptive provisioning and prudent coverage ratios, said Public Bank managing director and CEO Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek.

“The Public Bank Group will remain focused on growing its core retail and commercial banking business, while strengthening its commitments in the areas of environmental, social and governance.

"The group will ensure it remains relevant and resilient as it continues to serve the best interest of all its stakeholders,” he said while commenting on the bank's outlook for 2024.

In the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023, Public Bank registered a net profit of RM6.65bil, up from RM6.12bil in FY22, representing a higher earnings per share of 34.26 sen compared to 31.53 sen.

Revenue over the 12-month period was RM25.42bil against RM21.43bil in FY22.

In the fourth quarter alone, net profit was lower at RM1.62bil compared to RM1.71bil in 4QFY22, while revenue rose to RM6.55bil from RM6.06bil in the comparative quarter.

The bank declared a second interim dividend of 10 sen per share, bringing its total dividend to 19 sen per share, accounting for 55.5% of the group's net profit in FY23.

During the year, Public Bank's net interest and financing income came to RM10.53bil with an average net interest margin of 2.2%.

Non-interest income grew 2.6% to RM2.48bil on higher income derived from the group's unit trust, foreign exchange and stockbroking business.

The group's unit trust business, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to the non-interest income, recording 2.3% growth in pre-tax profit to RM798mil, representing 9.3% of the group's profit.

"As at the end of 2023, Public Mutual continued to capture a leading retail market share of 35.9% with a total of 182 unit trust funds and net asset value of funds under management of RM97.1bil," said the group.

Operating expenses were prudently managed, said the group, as it achieved a cost-to-income ratio of 33.7%

In 2023, Public Bank's loans grew 5.9% to RM372.7bil while domestic deposits rose 4.8% to RM384.9bil.

As at end-December 2023, the bank's gross impaired loans ratio was stable at 0.59%, while it maintained a loan loss coverage ratio of 181.8%.

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