Wider Margins

Oct 31, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank of Ceylon has reported profits of 1.4 billion rupees for the September 2010 quarter, up 46 percent from a year earlier, on stronger interest margins and loan growth. Revenues rose 0.2 percent to 10.55 billion rupees.

The bank reported earnings per share of 3.75 rupees for the quarter and 9.86 rupees for the nine months.

Group interest income fell 0.8 percent to 8.7 billion rupees, despite an 11 percent growth in loans amid falling interest rates, but interest cost fell at a faster 23 percent to 4.48 billion rupees allowing net interest income to increase 41 percent to 4.3 billion rupees.

Fee income was up 4.5 percent to 1.46 billion while forex profits fell 32 percent to 399.5 million rupees as a peg with the US dollar appreciated.

Loan loss provisions increased to 196.4 million rupees.

Group loans and advances grew 11.9 percent from the beginning of the year, while non-performing loans fell 9.0 percent to 16.4 billion rupees. Performing loans and advances grew 14.2 percent to 188.0 billion rupees.

Non performing loans (net of interest in suspense) fell to 5.02 percent of gross loans from 6.84 percent from the beginning of the year,