Unionbank profit down 26% to P2.1 B on Q1

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Earnings of Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines plunged by 26 percent to P2.16 billion in the first quarter from P2.93 billion in the same quarter last year due to higher expenses.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Unionbank said its interest income went up by 37.5 percent to P9.02 billion from P6.56 billion, while interest expenses surged 80 percent to P4.36 billion from P2.42 billion.

Other income including fees and commission as well as trading gains dropped by 15.3 percent to P2.32 billion from P2.74 billion. The bank also incurred P175 million in impairment losses, while provision for losses and income tax reached P328 million in the first quarter.

Unionbank’s operating expenses surged by 26.4 percent to P4.3 billion in the first quarter from P3.41 billion in the same quarter last year.

As a result, the bank’s return on assets declined to 9.6 percent from 15.9 percent, while return on average assets also fell to 1.3 percent from two percent.

Compared to the fourth quarter, Unionbank said its net income jumped by 75 percent, while net revenues rose by only two percent due to higher earning asset base, lower operating expenses and provision for losses.

The bank’s operating expenses declined by 12 percent, while provision for losses was down by 70 percent.

As of end-March, total assets of the Aboitiz-led bank breached the P700 billion mark as customer loans reached P315 billion with retail loans accounting for more than one-third of total loans.

Unionbank treasurer and chief financial officer Jose Emmanuel Hilado said asset yields are starting to catch up in the first quarter of 2019 as assets reprice.

“With a more stable interest rate and lower inflation environment this year, we expect margins to improve towards the end of the year and recurring income to have an increased contribution to our bottomline” Hilado said.

Unionbank president and chief executive officer Edwin Bautista said the bank still expects a sustained double-digit increase in lending this year.

“We are confident to sustain the double-digit expansion of our lending businesses with 2019 marking our 5th consecutive year of above-industry loan growth,” Bautista said.

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