PHILIPPINE Bank of Communications (PBCom) saw its net income grow sixfold during the second quarter on the back of strong loan growth and one-off gains, as operating costs steadied from a year ago.

In a disclosure on Monday, the listed bank reported a consolidated net income of P179.841 million, surging from the P29.807 million profit booked in April-June 2016.

Total operating income rose to P1.008 billion, up 13% from the P891.649 million tallied during the second quarter of last year on the back of higher fees and charges, alongside a one-time gain worth P11.025 million from the sale of assets that reversed a P6.054-million loss posted a year ago.

“Operating income improved by 13.07% which can be attributed to the increase in rental income, service charges, fees and commissions and profit from assets sold/exchange by the total amount of P63.2 million,” the bank said in its quarterly report submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

PBCom also kept operating expenses at bay at P804.898 million, even posting a slight decrease from the P805.236 million incurred a year ago which helped preserve a bigger bottom line.

The bank’s second-quarter performance drove the first semester tally to a 326.478-million net income, spelling a 464.1% leap from the P57.871 million profit as of end-June 2016.

Operating income grew by 14.6% to P2.012 billion, while expenses stood flat at P1.586 billion as the bank took steps to “increase operational efficiencies.” As a result, the bank’s cost-to-income ratio dropped to 78.8% from 90.2% previously.

Loans grew to P47.457 billion while bank deposits hit P63.944 billion, which supported a 6.1% growth in total assets to reach P91.755 billion.

With the strong growth in its balance sheet, PBCom also set aside enough capital buffers equal to 14.83% of weighted assets, well above the 10% requirement set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Return on assets likewise improved to 0.73% from 0.14% a year ago.

PBCom ranks as the 19th biggest out of 42 universal and commercial banks operating in the Philippines as of end-March in terms of assets, according to central bank data.

Shares in PBCom closed at unchanged at P13.20 apiece on Monday. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez