The bank, in a media statement announcing its financial performance for the first half of the year, said it intends to invest these funds on “identified key areas which are in line with the bank’s future growth strategies including new product development, branch expansion, service quality improvement, staff training and development and IT infrastructure”.
The banking group reported post-tax profit of Rs 1.02 billion for the six months ended 30 June 2012. Profit before VAT and Income Tax rose to Rs 2.01 billion against Rs 832 million (before the VRS costs). “The bank’s strong performance was driven by growth in its Core Banking operations despite rising interest rates and controlled credit growth. Net Interest income increased by 15 per cent to Rs 4.3 billion arising from selective growth in quality advances and effective management of margins. The bank’s portfolio grew by 18 per cent (annualised) in the six months of the year,” the statement said.
Non-interest income increased to Rs 1.2 billion with the main contributor to this coming from growth in foreign exchange income which increased by 20 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Bank Chairman Mohan Pieris said, “we are focused on achieving our Strategic Plan which we formulated in the latter part of last year. We have also taken steps to improve our Capital and Governance Structure for future growth strategies that have been planned.” Earnings per share were reported at Rs 6.04 (annualised), while return (profit before tax) on assets and return of equity was at 1.90 per cent and 11.50 per cent, respectively.