PHILIPPINE SAVINGS Bank (PSBank) reported nearly flat earnings in the first half of the year, driven by a double-digit rise in its core income.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Tuesday, the thrift lending arm of Ty-led Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank,) said its net income came in at P1.18 billion in the January to June period, posting a 2% uptick from the P1.16 billion recorded in the same period a year ago, on the back of an 18% increase in its core income to P6.06 billion.

The listed thrift lender’s total loan book expanded to P137.01 billion in the first half of the year from the P121.35 billion recorded in the same period a year ago, primarily fuelled by its robust consumer lending activities. Its auto loans grew 20% year-on-year.

Despite the growth of its lending business, the bank’s non-performing loans ratio was steady at 1.1%, while its total capital adequacy ratio was at 14.2% and Tier 1 ratio at 11.3%, both above regulatory standards of 10% and 9.3%, respectively.

Likewise, total deposits booked a double-digit growth of 32% to P183.61 billion during the six-month period ended June from P139.34 billion the year prior, with its low cost current account, savings account deposits rising by 16% year-on-year, PSBank said.

“Our first half results validate our core banking strategy anchored on customer experience and digitalization. We continue to post a strong financial performance with our retail business growing organically by double-digits, without increasing our brick and mortar branch network. We continue to innovate products and services and develop operational efficiencies while observing prudence,” PSBank President Vicente R. Cuna, Jr. was quoted as saying in a statement.

For this year, PSBank had said it eyes to book a double-digit growth in its bottom line.

PSBank shares closed at P91 apiece yesterday, gaining P1 or 1.11% from the previous day’s finish. — J.M.D. Soliman