"Due to the sharp and sustained drop in gold prices and its resultant impact on the pawning base, the sluggish credit off take and industry wide pressure on interest margins, Net Interest income decreased by 3 percent to Rs. 4.33 billion for the 6 months ended 30 June 2013. However, somewhat offsetting the above, fee and commission income increased by 28 percent from Rs. 763 million to Rs. 973 million with the bank increasing its focus on trade finance and fee income generating products and services," the bank said in a statement.
During the 6-months under review the bank also focused considerably on cost containment. As a result of many effective initiatives controls, personnel and overhead cost was contained to a mere 3.4 percent increase during 1H 2013.
Despite fierce competition the deposits base grew from Rs. 146.7 billion to Rs. 155.6 billion. Net Advances portfolio grew from Rs. 124.7 billion to Rs. 130.5 billion during the 6 months under review, despite lower than expected credit demand and the impact of lower gold prices on pawning related activities.
The bank was also able to improve its asset quality through effective recovery and rehabilitating efforts. This enabled the bank to significantly reduce its Gross NPA (net of IIS) from 12.99 percent in December 2012 to 11.15 percent as at end June 2013.
Preparing for future growth, the bank also successfully implemented a Core Banking System upgrade in February 2013. This will bring about significant cost efficiencies through process improvements to the Bank in the coming years. The upgrade will also facilitate many additional functionalities enabling better product and service delivery to its customers.
Chairman of Seylan Bank Nihal Jayamanne PC said, "The bank has posted yet another strong performance recording growth in profit after tax in 1H 2013, these results provide us an excellent platform to achieve sustainable growth."
As at 30 June 2013, the bank network comprised of 149 Branches, 156 ATMs and 78 Student Savings Centres.
Subsequent to the successful Rs. 2 billion debenture issue that was over-subscribed on the opening day, the Bank’s total Capital Adequacy ratio stands at 15.24 percent at the end of Q -2 2013, one of the highest in the local banking industry.
Earnings per share stood at Rs. 2.93 while Return (profit before tax) on Assets and Return on Equity stood at to 1.53 percent and 10.36 percent respectively.