Zest-O group-led Philippine Business Bank grew its 2019 net profit by 46.4 percent to P1.26 billion on higher interest earnings from lending activities alongside some treasury windfall.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, PBB president Roland Avante said: “2019 has been a great year for the bank with record-setting earnings. Our profitability is generated from diversified revenue streams. The strong core business was supplemented by trading profits.”

Interest income expanded by 28.8 percent to P7.09 billion, supporting a 25-percent rise in core income to P1.96 billion.

Total loans and receivables amounted to P87.3 billion as end-2019, growing by 15.6 percent from the previous year.

Total resources of the 159-branch savings bank reached P114.1 billion, up by 20.4 percent.

On the funding side, deposit liabilities increased to P95.3 billion, expanding by 23.4 percent.

Low-cost funds grew by 41.2 percent and now accounted for 46 percent of total deposits.

In 2019, PBB raised P3 from the issuance of three-year corporate notes, boosting funds for expansion.

“PBB continued to fortify its balance sheet with an asset size of P114.1 billion, a 14.5 percent annual growth rate since 2014. As the bank continues to grow, the need to enhance the bank’s infrastructure is paramount. PBB partnered with a digital technology company, Intellect Design Arena, to implement a new core banking solution aimed at accelerating the bank’s digital transformation process,” Avante said.

“The bank is seeking to build a more robust database, from which the bank can serve its customers in a deeper and more enriching manner. PBB believes digital solutions would help empower the SME (small and medium enterprise) market segment, the key clientele of the bank,” he added.

Over the last five years, PBB’s net book value per share has grown by 10.6 percent per year, from P11.50 at the end of 2014 to P19.03 last year.

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