Gotianun-led EastWest Bank (EW) reported a PhP3.75 billion net income for the first nine months of the year, up 60% over the same period in 2016, sustaining the 60% growth in the first half of 2017. The bank maintained its industry-leading net interest margin (NIM) of 7.8%. NIM, net of provisions for loan losses, a metric that makes comparison among banks more meaningful, was at 6.1%.
The bank's recurring earnings grew 24% to PhP18.0 billion as net interest income and fee-based income, excluding trading gains rose 22% and 30%, respectively. Total non-interest income grew 5% year-on-year, tempered by the 70% dip in profits from securities trading. Net revenues reached PhP18.4 billion, 17% higher year-on-year. Operating expenses were at PhP9.9 billion, and increased at a slightly slower pace of 16%.
"We are happy to note that our higher income is mainly due to improving productivity and lower loan loss provisions. These two items more than offset the much lower trading revenues and the substantial increase in taxes even as our NPL loan loss coverage significantly improved," EW President Bobby Reyes said.
Total assets grew 17% to PhP314.9 billion driven by the growth in the bank's loan portfolio. Total loans increased 18% to PhP216.3 billion. Consumer loans, which grew 29%, account for 72% of total loans. Growth in consumer loans was led by the bank's auto loans business, also recently awarded Auto Loan Product of the Year at The Asian Banker Philippine Country Awards 2017. Total deposits rose 19% to PhP257.1 billion. Low cost deposits grew 23%.
"Our third quarter results prove that we are on the right track. EastWest is a true retail bank whose strength lies in its core operations. As we had projected, we are enjoying the early fruits of our store network expansion which enabled us to generate more deposits, which in turn allowed us to fund more loans and enhance our profitability," President Bobby Reyes added. EastWest Bank has 446 stores nationwide.
EW reported a return on equity of 13.8% and a return on assets of 1.7% at the end of the period. On income guidance, EW CEO Tony Moncupa, Jr. said, "We are on track to end 2017 with a net income of PhP4.8 billion, or 41% higher versus the PhP3.4 billion booked in 2016," affirming the income guidance the bank gave earlier.