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14 May, 2015 08:12 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka

Hatton National Bank Plc said yesterday it had continued its growth momentum with Group PBT increasing by 92% to Rs. 3 billion and Group PAT increasing by 79% to Rs. 2 billion in Q1 2015.
Commenting on the strong performance, HNB Plc Managing Director/CEO Jonathan Alles stated: “We are pleased with the robust growth recorded during the first quarter of 2015 amidst volatile market conditions."  This strong overall performance amply demonstrates the clear strategic focus of the bank, delivering sustainable value to all stakeholders.”
He further stated that “our efforts on driving sales through dedicated teams, continuously improving process efficiency and innovations in digital banking, have enabled the bank to record asuperior performance.”
The loan book grew by over Rs. 12 billion during the first three months of 2015 with net loans and advances recording a growth of 13% YoY, despite a slowdown in overall demand for credit compared to what was witnessed during the latter part of 2014. This loan book expansion was funded through the deposit growth of over Rs. 16.5 billion during the first quarter. The bank’s focus and efforts on mobilising low-cost deposits despite intense competition within the industry enabled the bank to record a YoY growth of 29% in the rupee CASA base with the CASA ratio improving to 47%. The landmark long-term loan facility of $ 100 million obtained recently from ADB, will further supplement the deposit growth during the year, and would assist in funding infrastructure development in the Country, boosting economic growth.
Interest income of the bank reduced by 11% during the period under consideration on account of the drop in interest rates while the interest expenses dropped at a faster pace due to the same and the shift towards low-cost deposits as mentioned above. This enabled the bank to cushion the impact on interest margins from drop in interest rates.
HNB’s continued focus on growing fee and commission income from multiple sources resulted in the net fee and commission income improving by 11% to Rs. 1.3 billion during Q1 2015. The growth was mainly through, trade facilities, remittances and increased credit card volumes.
In Q1 2014, due to the drop in gold prices, the bank incurred interest and capital losses on account of pawning. In the absence of same in the current period, the collective impairment reduced in Q1 2015 to Rs. 407.8 million.

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