UNIONBANK of the Philippines, Inc. posted double-digit growth in its net profit at end-September, driven by robust revenues on the back of more earning assets and strong trading gains.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Monday, the bank said its net income grew 40% to P8.5 billion in the first nine months. It did not provide third-quarter figures.

The bank attributed the increase to strong trading gains and improved interest margin which rose by 100 basis points in the third quarter.

“Net income for the year was boosted by strong trading gains, as well as improvement in our margins. Net interest margin in 3Q2019 increased by 100bps compared to its low during the start of the year. Additionally, consumer and middle-market loans sustained healthy growths,” Jose Emmanuel U. Hilado, UnionBank treasurer and chief financial officer, was quoted as saying.

UnionBank’s return on equity stood at 12.6%.

The lender’s total loans also climbed 10% year-on-year to P346.3 billion.

This was mainly driven by the 37% increase in the parent bank’s credit card business as well as the growth in consumer loans, small-and-medium enterprises banking and commercial lending, increasing by 31%, 42% and 13%, respectively, the bank said.

The bank’s total assets stood at P685.8 billion as of end-September, 6.66% higher than the P643 billion booked in the same period in 2018.

“We recorded solid growth across the different business segments. CitySavings [Bank] also stabilized — delivering around P15 billion in salary loan releases and 9,000 motorcycle units during the third quarter,” UnionBank President Edwin R. Bautista said.

“We are fortunate that the substantial improvement in margins and trading gains from favorable market conditions have converged,” Mr. Bautista added.

UnionBank shares finished at P60.05 each on Monday, up 85 centavos or 1.44% from Friday’s close. — Beatrice M. Laforga