‘Commercial Bank ends 2015 with solid bottom line growth’


Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has recorded profit before tax of Rs 17.144 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2015, a year in which it strengthened its positions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

A carefully managed performance saw Sri Lanka's private bank attain solid growth across all business lines to improve pre-tax profit by a healthy 8.94% over the preceding year and achieve net profit of Rs 11.903 billion for 2015, a growth of 6.47% despite lower margins, reduced capital gains and higher tax commitments. Profit before Financial VAT and Nation Building Tax (NBT) was up 8.73% to Rs 20.033 billion.

Gross income increased by 7.03% to Rs 77.868 billion, and net interest income grew by a robust 11.47% to Rs 30.346 billion, the Bank reported in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

One of the many performance highlights of the year under review was the strong growth of the Bank's loan book, which increased by Rs 102.684 billion or 25.33% to Rs 508.115 billion. This was the first time that the Bank's loan book achieved a net growth of more than Rs 100 billion in a year.

Total assets grew by a noteworthy Rs 84.195 billion or 10.58% over the 12 months to Rs 879.805 billion at December 31, 2015. Deposits from customers increased by Rs 94.740 billion at an average of Rs 7.9 billion a month to Rs 624.102 billion at the end of 2015, reflecting Year-on-Year growth of 17.90%.

"We are pleased with these results because they reflect the ability of the Bank to grow in changing conditions, while continuing to enlarge its footprint in Sri Lanka and overseas, and consolidating its position as a catalyst in the socioeconomic progress of our country," Commercial Bank chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe said.

The Bank's Managing Director/CEO Jegan Durairatnam added that 2015 was noteworthy because a strong foundation for future growth had been set with the licenses secured to operate in Myanmar, Maldives and Italy. "These achievements are perhaps the most significant for the year as they expand our horizons, presenting new opportunities for growth and further strengthening our position in our home market," he said.

Elaborating on key performance indicators in the year under review, Commercial Bank said interest income had increased by 6.79% to Rs 66.031 billion, while interest expenses had grown by 3.11% to Rs 35.685 billion, helped by an improved Current Account and Savings Account (CASA) ratio and due to timely re-pricing of assets and liabilities.

Other operating income improved by 7.65% to Rs 10.936 billion, with net fees & commissions growing by 11.24% to Rs 5.374 billion, other income including recoveries of loans written off increasing by 20.67% to Rs 4.055 billion, and the conversion of a net loss on trading of Rs 305 million in 2014 to a net gain of Rs 813 million in 2015. However, net gains from financial investments in the year reviewed totalled only Rs 694 million as against a profit of Rs 2.273 billion in 2014 which came mostly from profit from bond trading. (Com Bank)

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