STATE-OWNED Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) saw its bottom line rise in the first half of the year, surpassing its mid-year projections, with the lender bullish on hitting its year-end net income target.

In a statement e-mailed to reporters on Wednesday, Landbank reported its net profit reached P7.43 billion in the first six months, climbing by 3% from the P7.2 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

Last semester’s figure was also 8% above its from its mid-year income target of P6.88 billion, which the bank said puts it on track to meet its end-2017 earnings guidance of P13.75 billion.

“We are confident about meeting our full-year target of P13.75 billion, as income from loans and investments remain strong,” Landbank President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura said.

Landbank’s revenues from loans jumped 7% year-on-year after its lending book expanded to P587.1 billion in the first half of the year, 20% higher than the P490.6 billion recorded in the comparable period a year ago.

Meanwhile, its income from investments likewise rose 9% to P9.2 billion in the first six months from P8.4 billion in the same period in 2016. This translated to return on equity of 14.55% at end-June, while its net interest margin was at 3.03%.

The government-owned bank’s net assets posted a double-digit increase of 15% to P1.5 trillion in the January to June period from P1.3 trillion in the first half of the previous year.

Total deposits also climbed by 17% to P1.32 trillion in the six months ended June from  P1.13 trillion last year. Its total capital reached P97.4 billion, up 9% year-on-year.

The bank is planning to put up 10 new branches this year situated across the country to bring the bank’s network to almost 400 offices nationwide.

Landbank said the new offices will help boost its lending business and deposit base. — Janine Marie D. Soliman