ASIA UNITED BANK Corp. (AUB) posted double-digit growth in its net income in 2018 driven by the robust performance of its core businesses.
In a regulatory filing Wednesday, the Ng-led lender posted a P3.3-billion consolidated net income in 2018, up 17% from the P2.8 billion recorded a year ago. This translated to a return on assets of 1.5% and a return on equity of 11.8%.
The double-digit growth was attributed to the core lending businesses of AUB and its subsidiaries, which remained “robust” even as competition inside and outside the industry is growing.
Net interest income grew 19% to P7.8 billion in 2018 from the P6.4 billion booked year-on-year, bolstered by the 35% increase in interest income from loans and receivables.
AUB’s loan portfolio expanded by 19% last year from the P131.1 billion logged in a comparable year-ago period, as the bank continued to maximize its cross-selling potential for both commercial and consumer loans across all product types such as credit cards, housing loans, auto loans as well as salary loans.
Meanwhile, deposits rose 21% last year from P159 billion in 2017.
AUB said it achieved operational efficiency in 2018 as it logged a “stable” cost-to-income ratio of 49.8%, ranked among the lowest in the industry.
Overall, AUB’s total assets were at P238 billion, up 19% from P200 billion in 2017.
“As we further move to being an agile organization, we are confident we can navigate the rapid changes in our operating environment and continue to cater to the needs of corporates and small and medium enterprises,” AUB President Manuel A. Gomez was quoted as saying in the disclosure.
He added that customers are “starting to feel the difference” in using AUB’s digital platforms such as the quick-response code payments through AUB Paymate mobile application.
“AUB is the only Philippine bank that has so far partnered with three of the world’s mobile payment networks and actively in partnership with financial technology companies,” the bank’s statement read.
In December, AUB announced its partnership with China’s UnionPay, enabling the latter’s cardholders to make cashless transactions in the country. It also partnered with Chinese mobile payment providers WeChat Pay as well as Alipay to better service the needs of Chinese visitors.
As of end-2018, AUB had a “modest” network of 228 branches and 34 additional branch subsidiaries.
AUB shares closed at P58 apiece on Wednesday, down 50 centavos or 0.85%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal