APS Bank posts €18.4m pre-tax profit and all-round growth in 2017

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

APS Bank an­nounced a record €18.4m pre-tax profit in the fi­nan­cial year ended 31 De­cem­ber 2017, an in­crease of 16% on 2016 as the bank reg­is­tered strong growth and all-round record lev­els of ac­tiv­ity. These re­sults were an­nounced at a cor­po­rate pre­sen­ta­tion held at the Corinthia Palace Ho­tel & Spa on 25 April.

In a favourable busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment char­ac­terised by ex­cep­tion­ally low in­ter­est rates, in­creas­ingly oner­ous reg­u­la­tory obli­ga­tions, shift­ing international geopo­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions and gen­er­ally im­prov­ing eco­nomic con­di­tions across Europe, with Malta be­ing one of the best per­form­ers, APS Bank’s re­sults un­der­score the sound­ness of its busi­ness model and the trans­for­ma­tion that the bank is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

Group Op­er­at­ing In­come ex­panded by 22%, from €34.9m to €42.8m, re­flect­ing the sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness mo­men­tum which out­paced the pro­gramme of heavy in­vest­ment in tech­nol­ogy, chan­nel trans­for­ma­tion, strength­en­ing of risk, com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance struc­tures and in­vest­ment in hu­man cap­i­tal, which con­tinue re­lent­lessly. Cost-ef­fi­ciency re­mained around the 50% level de­spite the sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased ac­tiv­ity.

Over­all credit qual­ity at bank level con­tin­ued to im­prove, with NPLs to Gross Loans re­duc­ing from 6.4% in 2016 to 4.2% in 2017 de­spite higher net im­pair­ment pro­vi­sions. ROE in­creased to a strong 11.5% (2016: 10.1%). Bal­ance Sheet growth was also ro­bust, with to­tal as­sets in­creas- ing by 16% to €1.5bn and with de­posit rais­ing and lend­ing ac­tiv­ity grow­ing by 11% and 27% re­spec­tively over 2016. The Group To­tal Cap­i­tal ra­tio of 14.8%, con­sist­ing pri­mar­ily of Tier 1 eq­uity, is down from last year yet still com­fort­ably above the reg­u­la­tory min­i­mum.

Pre­sent­ing the re­sults and com­ment­ing on the bank’s out­look for 2018, CEO Mar­cel Cas­sar said: “We are con­tin­u­ing with the trans­for­ma­tion at var­i­ous lev­els, or­gan­i­sa­tional, net­work and pro­cesses, strength­en­ing the gov­er­nance, risk and com­pli­ance in­fras­truc­ture and im­prov­ing the qual­ity and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of the in­come state­ment, which places us in a strong po­si­tion to grow and gain fur­ther mar­ket share.”

Chair­man Fred­er­ick Mif­sud Bon­nici said: “Our dif­fer­en­ti­ated, cus­tomer fo­cused, sim­ple and low risk busi­ness model will help us, I believe, to con­tinue de­liv­er­ing to cus­tomers and share­hold­ers and to sup­port the com­mu­ni­ties in which we op­er­ate. With our solid foun­da­tions, a strong cap­i­tal base and highly en­gaged and com­mit­ted staff, we look for­ward to the fu­ture with op­ti­mism.”

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