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NCB profit spikes 36 per cent - Shareholders to get $2.4b dividend payout in December

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) grew annual net profit by 36 per cent to $11.6 billion at year end September, reclaiming ground lost last year when its bottom line shrank by 15 per cent.

The out-turn this year was more in line with performance four years ago in 2010 when the bank first passed the $11 billion mark.

It is still tracking below-record results in 2011 when net profit surged above $13 billion.

For the group, total assets in 2014 grew by 12 per cent, or $53 billion, to $499 billion.

Return on average total assets increased to 2.5 per cent, from 2.1 per cent, while return on average stockholders' equity of 15.3 per cent increased from 12.4 per cent.

NCB Group Managing Director Patrick Hylton said at Friday's investor briefing that the bank's results represented "strong performance in a difficult environment".

The bank announced dividend 96 cents per share, which will see profit share of $2.36 billion going to shareholders on December 11.

The bank now holds $202 billion of customer deposits, up 13 per cent, while its loan portfolio grew by 12 per cent to $158 billion.

Hylton mentioned as a highlight of the year the finalisation of the acquisition of merchant bank AIC Finance Limited in Trinidad through wealth subsidiary NCB Capital Markets. The business was rebranded NCB Global Finance Limited.

"We have global aspirations," said Hylton, noting that the name was deliberate as NCB intends to expand its presence regionally and is aiming for a place among the five largest banks in both the Spanish and English-speaking Caribbean.

The new financial year, he said, would see progress along this line.

He said the new year would feature expanding access to credit and epayment initiatives, noting that the bank was awaiting the regulatory authorities to move ahead with mobile money services. He later clarified that the move would contribute more to efficiency and less to the bank's bottom line.

For the year ended, NCB grossed more than $10 billion in fees, a gain of more than $800 million over the course of a year.

Dennis Cohen, the head of group finance and deputy managing director, noted that increased fee income for the bank was driven by higher levels of late payments, overlimit fees and transaction volumes.

Nadeen Mathews, senior assistant general manager, noted that NCB has completed the roll-out of intelligent ABMs in branches islandwide and is now piloting a lodgement system under which up to 10 cheques can be lodged at the same time by iABM. NCB cheques will clear in 24 hours under the system.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com

NCB Group Managing Director Patrick Hylton. - File