Asia United Bank, the financial arm of the Rebisco Group, said Tuesday net income climbed 56 percent in 2022 to P6.3 billion from a year earlier on increased loan volume, higher margins and improvement in loan loss provisions.
AUB said in a statement the 2022 results pushed its return on equity to 16.2 percent from 11.1 percent in 2021 and higher than 14.2 percent in 2019 before the onslaught of the pandemic. The return on assets improved in 2022 to 1.9 percent from 1.3 percent in 2021.
Based on its latest unaudited financial statements, the bank ended the fourth quarter with a net income of P1.7 billion, up 54 percent from a year ago.
AUB president Manuel Gomez remained optimistic of the bank’s growth outlook despite the uncertainty due to elevated inflation and rising interest rates.
“We believe our agility in achieving a balance among growth, pricing, expense and risk management will continue to enable us to surmount the challenges of higher inflation and interest rate volatility that are seen to persist in 2023,” Gomez said.
Higher interest income from loans and investment securities resulted in an 18-percent year-on-year increase in net interest income to P12.9 billion while keeping interest expense at bay. This translated into a net interest margin of 4.2 percent from 3.7 percent, previously.
AUB’s operational expenses rose 2 percent, resulting in a cost-to-income ratio of 37.5 percent, lower than 42.4 percent year-on-year. This resulted from the bank’s continuous automation enhancements and process optimization to deliver quality services to customers efficiently at less cost.
AUB saw its loan portfolio grow by 12 percent to P195.0 billion from the 2021 level as the economy sustained its recovery and asset quality improving. The heftier loan volume mostly came from the bank’s corporate clients which started restocking their inventories and resuming business activities due to the economy’s reopening.
AUB reduced its loan loss provisions by 33 percent to P1.6 billion from a year-ago, while its non-performing loans ratio shrank to 1.0 percent and NPL coverage ratio strengthened to 115.1 percent.
Deposits grew by 10 percent to P288.8 billion, year-on-year. CASA deposits accounted for 75 percent of total deposits, while its loan-to-deposit ratio stood at a healthy 67.5 percent.
AUB remains as one of the top 20 banks in the Philippines with total assets of P340.2 billion in 2022, a 7-percent year-on-year increase compared with the flattish growth in 2020 versus 2021.
Total equity reached P39.9 billion, with a common equity tier 1 ratio of 13.7 percent and a capital adequacy ratio of 14.3 percent, above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ regulatory requirements.
Book value per share rose by 5 percent year-on-year to P82.30 in 2022.