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Cost efficiencies drive vibrant 9-month growth for ComBank

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Commercial Bank Chairman Justice K. Sripavan and  Managing Director S. Renganathan
Commercial Bank Chairman Justice K. Sripavan and Managing Director S. Renganathan

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon Group has achieved characteristically equitable growth for the nine months ending September 30, 2021, despite a slowing down in some key contributors in the third quarter of the year.The Group, comprising the Commercial Bankof Ceylon PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank, its subsidiaries and an associate, has reported a gross income of

Rs 120.05 billion for the period,an improvement of 5.66% over the corresponding nine months of 2020, with the third quarter recording a growth of 4.34% in comparison with the 6.34% growth achieved for the first half of 2021.

Interest income, the biggest component ofgross income, grew by 3.43% to Rs 96.23 billion, improving on the 3.20% growth achieved up to June 2021, and interest expenses continued to decline, albeit at a lower rate than in the first half of the year, the Group said. Among the other principal contributors to gross income, fee and commission income grew by 32.21% to Rs 11 billion;net other operating income improved by 13.91% to Rs 7.81 billion assisted by higher exchange gains; net gains from de-recognition of financial assets contributed Rs 2.98 billion and net gains from trading amounted to Rs 2.04 billion,an increase of 171.95%. Total operating income at Rs 68.95 billion for the nine months, reflected a growth of 23.53% and the Group’s noteworthy achievement of restricting impairment charges to Rs 17.10 billion during the period under review, an increase of only 7.56% as compared with a 47.44% growth at the end of the first half of 2021, resulted in net operating income growingby 30.37% to Rs 50.95 billion. Consequently, operating profit before VAT on financial services grew by a significant 52.55% to Rs 29.67 billion for the nine months, improving on the 41.09% growth recorded at the end of the firstsix months of the year.

Commercial Bank Chairman Justice K.Sripavan noted that these results demonstrate Commercial Bank’s strong abilityto maintain healthy and balanced growth in core banking operations to mitigate the impacts of fluctuations in income from fee-based operations and other operating income. “Each quarter sees the Bank maintaining or improving on itskey performance ratios to become even more financially stable andbetter-positioned to continue its mission as a systemically important bank,” hesaid.

The Bank’s Managing Director S. Renganathan elaborated that Commercial Bank continued to improve its CASA ratio,cost-income ratio, provisioning for impairment and provision cover in the period reviewed, disclosing that charges for impairment and other losses had infact declined by a remarkable 41.87% in the third quarter. caption: Chairman Justice K. Sripavan(left) and Managing Director S. Renganathan

The Group paid Rs 4.608 billion as value added tax on financial services for the nine months, which was up 50.55% in line with the growth in profits.

Taken separately, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC reported profit before tax of Rs 24.425 billion for the period, with a growth of 56.91% and profit after tax of Rs 18.61 billion, recording an improvement of 75.61%.

Total assets of the Group grew by Rs 200 billion or 11.35% over the nine months to reach Rs 1.962 trillion as at 30thSeptember 2021.

Gross loans and advances increased by Rs105.19 billion or 10.94% to Rs 1.07 trillion, recording a monthly average growth of Rs 11.69 billion over the nine months. Total deposits of the Group recorded an improvement of Rs 161.27 billion or 12.53% in the nine months reviewed at a monthly average of Rs 17.92 billion to reach Rs 1.45 trillion as at September 30,2021.

The CASA ratio improved to an impressive 47.05%, an industry benchmark, from 42.72% at the end of 2020 and 41.97% at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

The Bank’s gross non-performing loans (NPL)ratio improved to 4.94% from 5.11% at end 2020 and 5.20% a year previously,while its net NPL ratio improved to 1.83% from 2.18% as at 31st December 2020and 3.04% as at September 30, 2020.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – 01:00

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