The pre-tax profit at the bank level was up 34.06% to Rs.l7.7 billion and the after-tax profit attributable to equity holders up 31.91% to Rs.5.3 billion, the statement revealed.
At group level, the pre-tax profit was up 33.8% to Rs.7.7 billion and the attributable profit up 31.6% to Rs.5.3 billion.
While profit at company level translated to an earning of Rs.6.39 per share, up from Rs.5.13 a year earlier, group earnings too stood at this level, up from Rs.5.14 per share during the first half of the previous year.
The bank said that growth was mainly due to increases in its fund based operations which grew the interest income over Rs.10 billion during the first half with earnings growth up 18.4% to nearly Rs.10.5 billion.
"The main contributory factor for this increase in net interest income was the increase in interest income on loans and advances portfolio of the bank by Rs.5.866 billion or 44.25% during the six-month period under review," the review said.
This was mainly due to the increases in the performing loans and advances portfolio which was up nearly 10.7% to Rs.29.1 billion during the first half of this year.
It said total interest too grew by over Rs.4.2 billion (46.2%) during the first half primarily due to the growth in the volume of deposits that were up 13.1% by Rs.41.8 billion. Deposits volume as at June 30, 2012, attracted by the continued increase in the market interest rates, stood at Rs.360.3 billion.
Commercial Bank’s non-interest income more than doubled by Rs.3.1 billion thanks to a substantial increase in foreign exchange income which had grown over threefold from the comparative period the last year.
"The increase in foreign exchange income was mainly due to relatively higher volume of foreign currency operations of the bank and also due to the translation gains recognized consequent to the sharp depreciation of the Sri Lanka rupee against the US dollar by 17.11% during the six-month period under review," the review said.
The bank’s provisions on account of bad and doubtful debts (net of recoveries) increased by Rs.1.3 billion during the half year as a result of most stringent provisioning policy adopted.
Deposits at midyear were up 13.1% to Rs.360.3 billion while gross loans and advances had for the first time surpassed the Rs.300 billion mark – up 10.9% to Rs.319.3 billion.
The DFCC Bank with 14.89% is the biggest shareholder of the Commercial Bank followed by the Employees Provident Fund (9.58%) and the International Finance Corporation with 7.57%. The Life and General Funds of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation together own 9.45% of the voting shares.
The ETF with 3.57% is the biggest non-voting shareholders.
The Commercial Bank’s voting share traded at a high of Rs.106 and a low of Rs.98.50 during the first half of the year against a trading range of Rs.274 to Rs.244.80 a year earlier. The reduction in the share price was due to the rights issue of ordinary shares of 1 for 14 in August 2011 followed by a one for one sub-division of shares immediately after the rights issue closed.
The non-voting share traded at a high of Rs.86 and a low of Rs.73.50 during the six months against a trading range of Rs.196 to Rs.160 a year earlier.
The directors of the bank are: Messrs. D.S. Weerakkody (Chairman), K.G.D.D.D. Dheerasinghe (Deputy Chairman), M.M.R.S. Dias (MD/CEO), Prof. U.P. Liyanage, L. Hulugalle, M.P. Jayawardena and J. Durairatnam.