Chairman of the Bank Hemaka Amarasuriya stated: “The impressive results are attributable to the Bank’s overall strong position and the continued focus on providing solid returns and dividends to our shareholders. Results have been achieved in an environment where the impact of the global financial crisis continues to linger and credit growth remains low with business and consumer confidence fragile given the volatility and uncertainty in the markets.
Despite volatility in interest rates and growing concerns over higher borrowing cost and the prevailing downward trend in exchange rates, the bank has reported a commendable second half due to the effective execution of our strategic priorities of customer satisfaction, business banking, technology, operational excellence and profit growth.”
The results are characterised by the bank’s net income (NII, fee and forex income) increasing by 52 per cent to Rs. 4,746 million, net interest income of Rs. 2,579 million and fee and forex income of Rs. 1,512 million grew by 27 per cent and 72 per cent respectively over the comparative period.
The profit before tax of Rs. 2,757 million recorded an increase of Rs. 1,078 million or 64 per cent compared to the previous year.
The reported earnings for the bank also include equity income of Rs. 536 million on the sale in investments of NDB Investment Bank Ltd., NDB Stock Brokers (Pvt) Ltd. and of the five per cent direct holding in AVIVA NDB Insurance PLC, to NDB Capital Holdings PLC (formerly known as Capital Development and Investment Company PLC).
Following a strategic restructuring of the group’s corporate equity holdings, the re-launch of Capital Development and Investment Company PLC under a new corporate identity named ‘NDB Capital Holdings PLC’ further strengthens NDB group’s universal banking capabilities comprising of investment banking, wealth management, stock broking, private equity and insurance. It has no doubt that by leveraging NDB’s unparalleled brand strength, and geographical reach, the subsidiary will play a key role in mainstreaming a substantial part of the shadow economy by providing better access to financial services.
The bank’s basic earnings per share were Rs. 16.17, an increase of 45 per cent over the first half of 2011. The bank’s return on average assets and equity for the current period were 1.83 per cent and 19.96 per cent respectively, compared to 1.62 per cent and 15.29 per cent, respectively, over the first half of 2011.
The bank’s loans and advances increased to Rs. 108.9 billion as at June 30 2012, an increase of Rs. 21.3 billion, or 24 per cent, compared to 30 June 2011. The NPLs to gross lending portfolio was 1.60 per cent as at 30 June 2012. The NPL ratio of the bank continues to remain healthy due to the proactive risk management practices of the bank, and is well below the industry average.
The customer deposits portfolio also grew significantly by Rs. 27.2 billion or 40 per cent over the comparative period to reach Rs. 95.1 billion as at 30 June 2012. NDB’s branch network includes 66 branches which are strategically positioned throughout the country, enabling the bank to reap commendable growth levels in the recent past.
The bank’s strong and well managed balance sheet and the liquidity position indicate the ability to maintain a strong capital base, which enables the bank to optimise profits through expansion.
During the period under review, the Bank expanded its network to Aluthgama, Embilipitiya, Kaduruwela and Nawalapitiya. NDB continues to be actively engaged in SME banking with the agriculture, handicrafts, manufacturing, trading and distribution, fisheries, and dairy sectors to develop the grass root entrepreneurs in the country. The bank’s aim is to develop this sector by educating and enhancing skills and building their competencies thereby preparing them to face the SME opportunities in the country.
Adding on to the bank’s noteworthy performance in the second quarter, the UK based World Finance magazine awarded NDB as the ‘Best Commercial Bank 2012’ in Sri Lanka. The prestigious accolade recognised the bank’s commitment to continued excellence and superior service to its customers.
Meanwhile, NDB Group continued to make history, by NDB Investment Bank Ltd being adjudged the ‘Best Investment Bank in Sri Lanka’ at the recent Awards for Excellence 2012 by Euro Money, the world’s premier financial markets magazine. It was the first time Euro Money awarded an Investment Bank in Sri Lanka and NDB Investment Bank received the prestigious award in recognition of its pioneering efforts in developing the capital market in Sri Lanka.
This achievement was closely followed by the winning of several Annual Report awards at the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Vision Awards 2011; where NDB’s Annual Report 2011 gained noteworthy global acclaim being ranked amongst the World’s Top 100 as well as Asia Pacific’s Top 50 whilst winning a Platinum award for the Best Annual Report in the Commercial Bank’s Category, a second Platinum Award for the Most Improved Annual report in the Asia Pacific and a Gold award for the Most Improved Annual report Worldwide.
NDB’s strategic marketing initiatives and brand building activity was commended with an international award presented by the Chief Marketing Officials’ (CMO) Council of Asia. NDB clinched the ‘Award for Brand Excellence’ in the banking and financial sector at the recently concluded CMO Asia Awards. The award was in recognition of NDB’s brand performance based on market dominance, brand longevity, goodwill, customer loyalty and market acceptance.
This was yet another significant achievement for the bank as NDB was the only Sri Lankan bank to be recognised at the CMO Asia Awards and the prestigious accolade corroborates the bank’s aspiration of becoming a household brand in Sri Lanka while building strong relationships with its stakeholders and the wider community.
Commenting on the performance of the second half, CEO of NDB Russell De Mel stated: “Looking forward, the bank’s decisions over the past year to invest in technology and productivity initiatives including core banking modernisation, have placed the bank in a strong position for continuous growth. The challenge now is to ensure that as an organisation we optimise these investments for the benefit of our customers and our shareholders.”