METROPOLITAN Bank & Trust Co.’s (Metrobank) net income in the second quarter rose 15.5% to P6.48 billion from a year earlier, buoyed by sustained loan and margin growth as well as fee-based profit, the lender said in a statement to the stock exchange on Friday.

This brings the bank’s second-quarter earnings to P13 billion, 18% higher than a year earlier. Metrobank shares fell five centavos to P75 each at Friday’s close.

“We anticipate that the second half will bring even better opportunities as government spending on infrastructure projects continues to accelerate,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee said in the statement. “We will continue to make strategic investments in key areas of people and technology so we can deliver more meaningful banking experiences to all our customers.”

Metrobank traced higher earnings to double-digit growth in operating income. Net interest income grew 10% to P36.5 billion, accounting for almost three-quarters of the banks P50.2 billion revenue.

Net interest margin improved six points to 3.83%. Loans and receivables reached P1.4 trillion, 6% higher year on year, while its nonperforming loan ratio was at 1.5%.

Metro bank said credit demand was broad-based, with both the commercial and consumer segments posting mid- single-digit growth from a year earlier.

Metrobank’s deposits rose to P1.62 trillion as of end-June from P1.56 trilion a year earlier. The lender’s consolidated assets stood at P2.3 trillion as of end-June from P2.2 trillion a year ago. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal