METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST CO. posted a 31.7-percent increase in its first quarter profit on the back of higher lending activities boosted by improving economic conditions.
Metrobank, the country?s second largest bank in terms of assets at the end of 2009, reported a consolidated net income of P2.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up from P1.9 billion a year ago.
Metrobank ended the quarter with consolidated resources of P833.4 billion, or 9.1 percent higher year-on-year. This was driven mainly by the 8.6-percent growth in deposits to P602.1 billion.
In the meantime, net loans and receivables rose by 2.1 percent to P338.7 billion, ?on the back of increased demand from the corporate segment, especially for power generation and distribution, and real estate development, as well as the sustained volumes from the consumer and middle market segments.?
Total operating income increased by 6.8 percent to P11.4 billion due to higher fee income, sustained remittance flows, and financial markets sales and trading. Operating expenses grew 9.4 percent to P7.0 billion, driven by the 9.1-percent increase in manpower cost.
Metrobank maintained its prudent provisioning policy, setting aside P1.4 billion for impairment and credit losses.
At the end of the quarter, loan loss cover increased to 86 percent from 63.6 percent a year ago. Asset quality continued to improve, with the bank?s holdings of toxic assets declining by P4.7 billion, resulting in a nonperforming loan ratio of 3.5 percent, from 5 percent in the first quarter of 2009.