Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. tripled its profit in the first three months of the year from year-ago level to P11.4 billion. It was the highest quarterly profit recorded by a local bank.
In a statement, Metrobank said its net profit surged by 163 percent year on year due to the “steady growth in core revenue, robust expansion in treasury and investment activities and increase in miscellaneous income.”
Metrobank’s first-quarter bottom line beat those of Banco de Oro Unibank’s P10 billion and Bank of the Philippine Islands’ P8.4 billion.
Its three-month operating income grew by P9.8 billion to reach P26.9 billion. This was attributed to a 103-percent hike in non-interest income to P18.7 billion, coupled with the modest 5 percent growth in net interest income to P8.2 billion.
Metrobank grew its loan book in the first quarter by 15 percent year on year to P523.3 billion, with the consumer and middle market segments fueling the demand. Deposit base grew by 11 percent, driven mainly by the strong take-up in low cost deposits, which now accounted for 62 percent of the total.
Despite tough competition and declining interest rates, Metrobank said its net interest margin improved to 4 percent from 3.7 percent in the same period last year. This was attributed to the more favorable deposit mix and sustained asset growth in the higher-yielding segments.
In the meantime, the increase in non-interest income was driven by the 8-percent hike in service charges, fees and commissions to P2.1 billion, strong earnings from treasury and investment activities which hit P11.3 billion and miscellaneous income of P5.2 billion.
Miscellaneous income included the gain on sale of its remaining 15 percent stake in Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. in January.
On the expenditure side, the increase in operating expenses was mainly driven by compensation and fringe benefits earmarked for manpower-related costs. Metrobank recently renewed a three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with its employee union.