METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) saw its net income rise by 47.93% in 2022 amid the improved performance of its consumer and corporate lending businesses and lower loan loss reserves.
The bank’s quarterly report disclosed to the local bourse on Thursday showed its attributable net profit climbed to P32.78 billion last year from P22.16 billion in 2021.
This translated to a return on average equity of 10.29%, up from 6.89% in 2021. Return on average assets also improved to 1.23% from 0.89% a year prior.
Metrobank said in a statement that the increase in its net profit came “on the back of better corporate and consumer lending businesses, healthy fee income, subdued operating expense growth and lower provisions on stable asset quality.”
For the fourth quarter alone, net earnings climbed by 55% year on year to P9.3 billion, it said.
“Backed by the strategies we initiated during the pandemic, our solid performance and the recognitions we received in 2022 reflect our efforts to support our clients’ growing needs as the economy reopens,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee was quoted as saying.
“With our strong balance sheet and highly capable team of Metrobankers, we stand ready to continue to be the trusted partner of all our stakeholders for the long term,” he added.
The bank’s financial statements showed its net income for 2022 exceeded the 2019 or pre-pandemic level of P28.055 billion. Its profit stood at P13.831 billion in 2020 and P22.156 billion in 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its operations.
Metrobank’s net interest income climbed by 13.96% to P85.529 billion in 2022, with interest earnings rising by 17.43% and interest expenses up by 38.86%, “fueled by higher loan demand and better net interest margin of 3.6%”.
“Interest income went up… due to increases in interest income on investment securities by P9.62 billion (due to higher volume of investment securities at amortized cost), interest income on loans and receivables by P4.66 billion and interest income on interbank loans receivable by P0.68 billion,” the lender said.
“Gross loans expanded by 14% year on year, supported by a 15% growth in corporate and commercial loans as businesses started to build their inventories and resumed their investment spending. Likewise, net credit card loans increased by 29%, leading the recovery in consumer lending,” it added.
Other operating income went up by 3.72% to P26.79 billion on higher fee-based income and profits from asset sales.
Meanwhile, the bank’s total operating expenses rose by just 2.56% to P61 billion.
Metrobank set aside loan loss provisions worth P8.11 billion in 2022, lower than the P11.83 billion provision in 2021.
This, as its nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio eased to 1.9% in 2022 from 2.2% in 2021, which it noted is “better” than the industry’s 3.3%. It also had an NPL coverage ratio of 172.4%.
On the funding side, total deposits grew by 15.07% to P2.22 trillion, with low-cost current and savings accounts or CASA at P1.5 trillion.
The Metrobank Group’s consolidated assets stood at P2.84 trillion at end-2022, up by 13.6% from the year-ago level. Total equity stood at P318.51 billion.
Its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 17.68% last year, down from 20.13% in 2021, while its common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio was at 16.83% from 19.28% a year prior. Still, both remained above the minimum 10% CAR and 6% CET1 ratio required by the central bank.
Metrobank’s shares dropped by P1.30 or 2.16% to close at P58.90 each on Thursday. — A.M.C. Sy