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13 November, 2015 09:23 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka
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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has reported profit before tax of Rs. 12.190 billion for the nine months ending 30 September 2015, achieving a creditable 8.72% growth despite narrowing margins and substantially lower capital gains in comparison with the same period of the preceding year.dth
The bank’s profit after tax of Rs. 8.426 billion at the end the third quarter reflected growth of 7.96%, while gross income at Rs 56.694 billion was an improvement of 4.58%, according to interim financial statements filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange by Sri Lanka’s largest private bank. Profit before VAT and NBT was up 8.51% to Rs. 14.235 billion.
Interest income for the nine months improved by 4.53% to Rs. 48.605 billion, while interest expenses grew by a lower rate of 1.08% to Rs. 26.207 billion, helped by the growth of low cost funds in the bank’s deposit mix in the review period. Consequently, net interest income grew by a higher rate of 8.88% to Rs. 22.398 billion.
Other income at Rs. 7.432 billion was on par with that of the corresponding nine months of the previous year, during which the bank posted substantial capital gains on bond trading.

The figure for 2015 was helped by an increase of Rs. 554.6 million in net gains from trading, an increase of Rs. 652.8 million in recoveries, exchange profit and investment income, and an improvement of Rs. 316.434 million in net commissions and fees, the bank said.
Commenting on the bank’s performance up to the third quarter, Commercial Bank Chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe said: “The figures are a good indication of how the bank has kept its momentum going throughout the review period in the face of changing conditions and reduced margins. We have also had robust deposit and loan growth in the review period and hope to end the year with a characteristically solid result.”
Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Jegan Durairatnam noted that the impact of factors such as the absence of bond trading income and less favourable interest rates in 2015 had been effectively mitigated by the bank’s strong attention to improving volumes in core business areas. “A focus on getting the fundamentals right has always been one of the strengths of Commercial Bank, and helps us navigate challenging conditions,” he said.
Loans and receivables to other customers grew by a healthy 18.87% over the nine months to Rs. 481.923 billion as at 30 September 2015, an increase of Rs. 76.491 billion since end 2014, and a growth of Rs. 94.474 billion or 24.38% YoY.

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