Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company posted a robust 21-percent net income growth in 2018 to P22 billion from P18.2 billion in 2017.
The bank said Thursday total resources also reached a new all-time high of P2.2 trillion.
Metrobank said in a statement the strong performance last year was driven by the healthy growth in loans complemented by margin expansion, higher service charges, fees and commissions and manageable expense growth.
“2018 was a milestone year for our bank. Despite the challenging market conditions that especially characterized the second half of the year, we achieved consistent core income growth while keeping operating costs in check and asset quality intact,” Metrobank president Fabian Dee said.
“In addition, we have been steadily laying the groundwork for future expansion through structural changes, and focusing on productivity and efficiency improvements across the institution,” Dee said.
The bank’s loan portfolio expanded 10 percent year-on-year to P1.4 trillion. The commercial book led the growth at 11 percent, driven by the top corporate accounts, followed by the middle market and SME accounts.
Total deposits increased 2 percent to P1.6 trillion as of end-2018, while the bank’s current account, savings account or Casa ratio was maintained at 62 percent.
Funding was supplemented by the issuance of P8.68 billion worth of long-term negotiable certificates of deposits in October and P28 billion worth of fixed-rate peso bonds in November and December.
Net interest income expanded 12 percent to P68.8 billion and accounted for 74 percent of the total revenues of P92.6 billion. Net interest margin rose to 3.82 percent, still the highest among peer banks.
Non-interest income grew to P23.8 billion, as service fees and commissions and income from trust operations went up 13 percent to P14 billion.
Fee-related revenues were boosted by steady customer-driven flows and trade-related commissions. Net trading and FX gains contributed P2.8 billion while other income was at P6.2 billion.
Operating expenses, excluding taxes and licenses, increased at a slower pace of 10 percent to P44.9 billion. Manpower-related costs grew 11 percent to P22.4 billion, while the balance was spent in support of the bank’s continuous systems and process improvement efforts.
Asset quality metrics remained healthy and better than the industry average. Non-performing loan ratio was recorded at 1.2 percent, while the NPL cover increased to 105 percent.
Overall credit cost was kept well-within the company’s guidance of 50 to 60 basis points for the full year. The bank reported provisions for credit and impairment losses of P7.8 billion based on PFRS 9 adopted at the beginning of the year.
Metrobank’s consolidated assets stood at P2.2 trillion and equity at P283.0 billion as of December 2018. The Bank successfully completed its landmark P60-billion rights issue in April 2018.
Metrobank said capital ratios were comfortably above regulatory requirements, with total capital adequacy ratio at 17 percent and common equity tier 1 ratio at 14.6 percent.