May 15, 2013 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka’s NDB group fell 53 percent to 499 million rupees in the March 2013 quarter, from a year earlier, on higher operating expenses and provisioning as interest costs rose, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings 3.09 rupees per share.

Interest income rose 34 percent to 4.9 billion rupees and interest expenses rose at a faster 45 percent to 3.3 billion rupees, but the bank still grew net interest income 17 percent to 1.6 billion rupees.

Fee income rose 5 percent to 311 million rupees, but trading income fell 49 percent to 149 million rupees allowing the bank to grow operating income by 6 percent to 2.4 billion rupees.

At standalone bank level, profits rose to 387 percent to 6.2 billion rupees as gains on the sale of insurance stock was taken from a subsidiary to the parent through a share buyback, boosting capital.

The bank’s Tier I capital adequacy rose to 14.46 percent by end March from 11.16 percent in December, one of the highest among Sri Lankan banks.

Chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya said that a strong capital base had expanded opportunities in the future.

“We strongly believe in our ability to achieve higher returns through improved performance, intens