UNITED COCONUT Planters Bank (UCPB) saw its bottom line grow double digits in the first semester on the back of strong consumer loans, it said in a statement yesterday.

The 12th largest bank in terms of assets booked a P2.01-billion net income in the first half, up 12% from the P1.8 billion it posted in the same six months last year.

This was coming from a P958.13-million net income in the first quarter, which increased 3.11% from the P929.19 million recorded in the same period in 2016.

Net interest income for the January-June period was at P5.47 billion, growing 16% from the P4.72 billion booked in 2016.

Non-interest income, on the other hand, slid 15% to P1.18 billion from the P1.39 billion recorded a year earlier due to “lack of prevailing market opportunities,” the bank noted.

“Treasury gains declined by 27% to P427.04 million,” UCPB said.

UCPB’s loan portfolio stood at P153.37 billion as of end-June, 15% more than the P133.38 billion seen in the same period in 2016, attributed to expansion in its auto loans.

Total deposits during the period also surged 23% to P284.33 billion from P231.48 billion posted last year.

The bank said operating expenses in the first half grew 9% year on year, without disclosing figures.

“UCPB continues to post significant growth in its core business in the first semester of 2017. We were able to expand our loan portfolio and even exceeded our year-to-date 2017 target. The strong demand for financing coupled with our other initiatives such as our strengthened relationships with partner dealers and agents boosted the rise in consumer loan availments,” UCPB president and chief executive officer Higinio O. Macadaeg, Jr. was quoted in a statement as saying.

“Our consumer loan portfolio was funded by low-cost deposits that we continued to build this year. This resulted to better margins,” he added.

“Our performance for the first six months of the year reinforces our optimism that we will be able to hit our target for the year,” said Mr. Macadaeg.

The bank earlier said that it aims to book a 20-25% profit growth this year, coming from 2016’s actual bottom line of P3.4 billion. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan