RCBC confident of double digit profit growth this year

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) is confident of booking a double-digit increase in earnings this year after a flat performance last year.

RCBC president and chief executive officer Eugene Acevedo said the bank’s strong earnings in the first half is a testament of how the bank has re-established its presence and become stronger through the years.

“We are happy with the double digit growth in income, a result of our consistent focus on strengthening the bank’s core business. However, | believe that there is more we can do and achieve. Moving forward, focusing on consumer loans and the SME sector will be key for us to fight our way back,” Acevedo said.

RCBC treasurer Horacio Cebrero said in a press conference the Yuchencgo-led bank is confident it would perform better this year despite the recent global developments including the weakening of the Chinese yuan as well as the trade war between the US and China.

“There is a big probability that we are going to reach double-digit (growth) versus 2018 with the things that we have been focusing on. The execution based on the plans that we have been crafted over the past several years, the trajectory is most probably we are going to deliver this,” Cebrero said.

Cebrero said markets have been “very friendly” and would continue to be “friendly” despite the current developments.

Ma. Christina Alvarez, senior vice president and chief information officer at RCBC, said the bank’s net income jumped by 23 percent to P2.7 billion in the first half from P2.2 billion in the same period last year.

“The bank really did well in the first half,” Alvarez told reporters.

Alvarez said the strong growth in net income was due to the bank’s sustained efforts to strengthen core business with double digit growth in net interest income by 10 percent to P10.6 billion, driven by the growth in the outstanding loan portfolio of key select markets.

Loans to small and medium enterprises (SME) grew by 20 percent to P60.5 billion. Rizal MicroBank grew its loans to micro and small business enterprises by 18 percent.

Loans to consumers including mortgage loans, auto loans and credit cards increased by 18 percent to P120.6 billion, gross outstanding credit card receivables accelerated by 37 percent to P25 billion with an active card base of 788,000.

Alvarez said non-interest income more than doubled to P6.1 billion, coming from stronger contributions in treasury-related and fee-based income.

According to Alvarez, the bank’s total operating expenses increased by 11 percent to P10.5 billion due mainly to the significant growth in volume of business as gross revenues jumped 32 percent year-on-year.

The bank’s deposit base inched up by six percent to P418.6 billion while its loan book grew faster at nine percent to P400 billion.


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