PHILIPPINE BUSINESS Bank (PBB) saw its net income surge 46.4% in 2019 on the back of higher core earnings and a double-digit growth in its loan portfolio and deposits.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Monday, the Yao-led bank said it booked a net income of P1.256 billion last year from P858 million in 2018.

“2019 has been a great year for the bank with record-setting earnings. Our profitability is generated from diversified revenue streams. The strong core business was supplemented by trading profits,” PBB President and CEO Roland R. Avante was quoted as saying.

PBB’s interest income jumped 28.8% year on year to P7.094 billion last year, while net interest income rose 20.5% to P4.551 billion.

The thrift lender saw its net interest margin inch up to 4.48% in 2019 from 4.28% the year prior, while its core income jumped 25.2% to P1.961 billion. 

Its total loans and receivables reached P87.3 billion last year, up 20.4%.

Meanwhile, total deposits also rose 23% year on year to P95 billion, with its low-cost to high-cost deposit mix improving to 46:54 from 40:60 previously.

PBB’s total equity increased 13.3% year on year to P12.9 billion, or a “book value per share of P19.03 net of preferred shares,” while earnings per share ended higher at P1.64 in 2019 from P1.33 per share in 2018.

Mr. Avante said the bank’s total assets reached P114 billion, with a 14.5% annual expansion rate since 2014. 

He said PBB partnered with digital technology firm Intellect Design Arena for its new core banking solution that will improve its “digital transformation process.”

“The bank is seeking to build a more robust database, from which the Bank can serve its customers in a deeper and more enriching manner. PBB believes digital solutions would help empower the SME (small and medium enterprises) market segment, the key clientele of the Bank,” Mr. Avante said. 

The thrift bank raised P3 billion via three-year corporate notes last year, marking the maiden tranche of PBB’s P10-billion debt program. — Beatrice M. Laforga