Margin Squeeze

Feb 29, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’ Hatton National Bank group December 2011 profits rose 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.254 rupees helped by lower tax charges though core banking margins tightened, accounts showed. The bank reported earnings of 5.80 rupees for the quarter. For the year ending December it reported earnings of 16.64 rupees on profits of 6.1 billion rupees which climbed 28 percent. The stock has traded at 150 rupees.

In the December quarter HNB group income rose 18 percent to 9.2 billion rupees but interest expenses rose at a faster 36 percent to 4.7 billion rupees allowing net interest income to grow at a slower 3 percent to 4.46 billion rupees.

Non-interest income rose 20 percent to 1.78 billion rupees.

Profits were helped by loan loss provision reversals of 289 million rupees.

Pretax profits rose by a marginal 3 percent to 2.8 billion rupees, but financial value added tax fell 36 percent to 122 million rupees and income tax fell 35 percent to 395 million rupees, helping the bottom line.

HNB said group performing loans rose 27 percent to 250 billion rupees in the year the December 2011. Non-performing loans rose by a slower 8 percent to 11.96 billion rupees.

Deposits