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SBC posts record ’12 profit




Security Bank Corp. posted a net profit of P7.5 billion last year, the highest in the bank’s history, as extraordinary trading gains complemented expanded earnings from core lending.

Security Bank, the fourth most valuable bank in the local stock market, on Monday disclosed that its net profit in 2012 translated to a 22 percent return on equity.

This also marked a 12-percent increase in profitability from P6.7 billion in 2011. This also exceeded the Bloomberg consensus net profit forecast for Security Bank of P6.75 billion for 2012.

“We are pleased to achieve our financial and business results amidst increased competition even while we are investing to increase our branch network and customer coverage capabilities during this period of economic growth,” Security Bank president and chief executive officer Alberto Villarosa said.

Earnings per share rose by 11 percent to P14.84 while the book value per share increased by 21 percent to P73.28 as of yearend.

On its core lending look, the bank reported a 30-percent growth in customer loans to P119.6 billion. This expansion in earning assets was supported by a 19-percent increase in deposits to P142.4 billion as of yearend 2012. This translated to an 8 percent increase in net interest income despite the adverse interest rate pressure coming from prevailing low interest rate, the monetary easing by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the removal of interest paid on reserve requirements, and sale of securities by the bank.

The net interest margin last year was 3.94 percent, lower than the 4.08 percent in 2011 but still within levels deemed comfortable by the banking industry.

Non-interest income increased by 44 percent mainly due to higher trading gains on securities as well as fee-based income.

As a measure of efficiency, the bank said it spent 43.2 centavos to earn P1 last year.  This cost-to-income ratio increased from 36.9 percent in 2011 as the bank spent more on expanding its branch network.

The bank opened 34 new branches in 2012, bringing its branch network to 208 for both Security Bank and Security Bank Savings (formerly Premiere Development Bank which Security Bank acquired in February 2012).

Total assets at the end of the year stood at P259.5 billion, 21 percent higher year-on-year. Return on assets stood at 3.3 percent. Doris C. Dumlao


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