Good Year

Mar12, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank group has posted a profit of 1.49 billion rupees for the 2008 financial year, up 30 percent from 2007, in what its senior management called a tough year to operate in.

During 2008 Sampath’s interest income had jumped by 30.1 percent to 19.4 billion, while interest expenses had rose by 28.7 percent to 12.8 billion, resulting in a net interest income of 6.64 billion rupees, up 32.9 percent, or 1.64 billion from 2007.

“When you analyze the quarterly progress it was not achieved in one go, it was gradual progress over the year,” said Harris Premaratne, chief executive at Sampath Bank.

“In the first quarter the bank had a post tax profit of 302 million. In the second quarter we surpassed that and achieved 337 million. In the third quarter it was 338 million and in the fourth quarter it was 406 million.”

Sampath’s fee income had grown by 11.9 percent to 1.35 billion rupees, while foreign exchange profits for the year was 647 million, up 28.2 percent or 142 million.

Loan loss provision for the year was 846 million rupees, down 12.2 percent, or 114 million.

The banks loan book had expanded by 36.8 percent to 81.42 billion rupees.

Premaratn