NCB makes $14b profit, a new record

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Reporter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

NATIONAL COM­MER­CIAL Bank Ja­maica Lim­ited (NCBJ) made net profit of $14.4 bil­lion over its fi­nan­cial year end­ing Septem­ber, up 17 per cent from last year.

“We recorded record prof­its for the year,” said Deputy Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Den­nis Co­hen at an in­vestors brief­ing on Fri­day.

It re­sulted in earn­ing per share of $6.35 com­pared to $5 a year ear­lier. The group ben­e­fited from a bet­ter than ex­pected fourth-quar­ter, and it re­mains bullish on prospects for the next fi­nan­cial year.

“This year can be sum­marised as dy­namic and even­tual as we sought to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­ni­ties in our busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to fur­ther drive our suc­cesses as an or­gan­i­sa­tion,” said Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Patrick Hyl­ton in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the fi­nan­cial re­sults re­leased to the stock mar­ket.

The bank­ing group will pay a div­i­dend of 90 cents per share, amount­ing to a dis­tri­bu­tion of $2.22 bil­lion set for De­cem­ber 9.

At the in­vestor brief­ing, Hyl­ton an­nounced a new fouryear strate­gic plan to make NCBJ faster, sim­pler and stronger by 2020. It will fo­cus on dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, re­gional expansion, core busi­ness and im­prov­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

The new strat­egy fol­lows on the com­ple­tion of a five year plan which wrapped up the end of FY 2015/16. It aimed to make the group one of the top five fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the English- and Span­ish-speak­ing Caribbean.

The strat­egy re­ceived mixed marks, but some of the suc­cesses in­cluded keep­ing the top po­si­tion in Ja­maica as mea­sured by as­set and profit; rank­ing among the top 10 fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the re­gion, de­fined by net profit; and re­gional expansion, with its largest ac­qui­si­tion be­ing the 29.99 per cent stake ac­quired in Guardian Hold­ings Lim­ited, one of the re­gion’s largest in­sur­ers.

NCBJ’s annual gross rev­enues hit $65.75 bil­lion, up from $61.2 bil­lion.

PAR­TIAL RE­COV­ERY

Its loan port­fo­lio ex­panded to $189 bil­lion from $165 bil­lion a year ear­lier due in part to the growth in re­tail, SME and cor­po­rate bank­ing busi­ness loans. The bank also carved $2.4 bil­lion from its non-per­form­ing loan port­fo­lio, which fell from $8.5 bil­lion to $6.1 bil­lion.

“The re­duc­tion in NPL port­fo­lio was as a result of the par­tial re­cov­ery of a sig­nif­i­cant debt dur­ing the fourth quar­ter,” said NCBJ – in what ap­pears to be a ref­er­ence to the in­com­plete Palmyra condo re­sort, which was re­cently sold to en­ti­ties re­lated to Sagi­cor Group.

Hyl­ton and Co­hen would only say the par­tial re­cov­ery re­lated to a con­struc­tion loan.

NCB wrapped up the year with to­tal as­sets of $607.7 bil­lion and a net book value of $103 bil­lion.

NCB Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Patrick Hyl­ton.

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