ASIA UNITED Bank Corp. (AUB) and its subsidiaries booked a record consolidated net income in 2023, driven by an increase in loans and improved asset quality.

AUB saw its consolidated net profit climb by 32% to P8.3 billion last year from P6.3 billion in 2022, it said in a disclosure to the local bourse on Monday.

Its 2023 net income was “the highest in its 26-year history,” the bank said.

It translated to a return on equity of 18.6% and a return on assets of 2.38%, up from 16.1% and 1.9% in 2022, respectively.

“We attribute this vastly improved performance to our robust loan growth, more profitable net interest margin (NIM), continuously improving credit quality, and higher operating efficiency,” AUB President Manuel A. Gomez was quoted as saying.

“With our stronger performance in 2023, we expect to solidify our lead among the country’s top 10 listed universal banks in terms of compounded annual growth rate on key indicators… However, with interest rates expected to remain elevated this year, and global shocks a continuing concern, we have to remain agile to sustain our performance,” Mr. Gomez added.

The bank’s financial statement was unavailable as of press time.

Net interest income grew by 17% year on year to P15 billion in 2023.

“Amidst the environment of rising interest rates, AUB saw its NIM widen by 17% to P15 billion from 2022. Credit quality, as measured by net nonperforming loans, stood at 0.58%, well below the industry’s 1.6%. This led to reduced loan loss provisions of P1.2 billion, 27% lower than in 2022,” the bank said.

Meanwhile, operating expenses stood at P6.5 billion last year.

Its cost-to-income ratio went down to 36.3% from 37.6%.

Deposits with the bank stood at P292 billion in 2023, with low-cost current and savings account or CASA deposits making up bulk of the total, AUB said.

The bank’s assets grew by 4% year on year to P355.1 billion in 2023.

Equity also increased by 23% to P49.1 billion last year. The bank’s common equity Tier 1 ratio was at 16.88%, while its capital adequacy ratio stood at 17.49%, well above the regulatory requirements.

AUB’s shares rose by 50 centavos or 1.49% to close at P34 apiece on Monday. — AMCS