LAND BANK of the Philippines’ (LANDBANK) net income climbed 23% year-on-year to P13.97 billion in the third quarter from P11.36 billion a year ago, putting it on track to meet its full-year profit goal of P16.64 billion.

LANDBANK said in a statement on Monday that its third-quarter profit was also higher than its P12.48-billion target for the period.

This translated into a return on equity of 13.41%, while net interest margin stood at 3.41%.

“We continue to grow LANDBANK’s financial position as the bank’s profitable operations allow us to consistently drive support for our priority sectors, especially farmers and fishers,” LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted as saying.

The state-owned lender said its income from loans jumped 50% on the back of higher yield and growth in its loan portfolio which climbed to P869.31 billion as of end-September from P838.75 billion in the same period in 2018.

LANDBANK’s total assets went up 11% to P1.96 trillion as of September from P1.77 trillion in the same period a year ago.

This, as deposits grew 11% to P1.74 trillion at end-September from P1.57 trillion last year, while capital climbed 16% to P144.87 billion from P124.88 billion in the same period in 2018.

The lender said it remains to be the biggest lender to the agriculture sector with gross loans to the sector totalling P227.55 billion as of end-September.

This total includes some P41.25 billion disbursed to small farmers which include agrarian reform beneficiaries, fishers, and their associations; and P186.29 billion which went to other players in the agribusiness value chain.

“LANDBANK remains largely compliant with the Agri-Agra Credit Law, with 21.74% compliance with the prescribed allocation for agrarian reform credit and 429.29% compliance for other agricultural credit as of September 30 this year,” the bank said.

Republic Act 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act requires banks to allot at least 10% of its total lending portfolio to agrarian reform beneficiaries and 15% to farmers and fisherfolk. — L.W.T. Noble