EastWest first quarter income up 54%

EastWest Bank reported a Q1 2017 net income increase of 54% to Php1.2 billion on account of robust loan growth and improving productivity. Its total assets were up 22% from last year bannered by the 25% increase in total loans.

Total revenues in the first quarter of 2017 were up 18% to Php6.0 billion. Core revenues, or income after taking out volatile trading profits, grew 26% to Php5.9 billion. Operating expenses, on the other hand, increased by 13% to Php3.2 billion.

"As we have said previously, we expect to see steady increase in productivity after we have completed our expansion and as our stores mature. Business has been good. We expect revenue growth to continue besting increases in costs. At the rate we are going, a 25% increase in income this year to around Php4.25 billion is doable," said Antonio Moncupa Jr., EastWest Vice Chairman and CEO.

EastWest has now almost tripled its branch stores. From 168 in end 2011, it now has 446 stores. The store network expansion initially resulted to a flat income of Php2.0 billion from 2013 to 2015. "Good things often come with birth pains and difficulties. The thing is to look at the long term," Moncupa added.

Total deposits increased by 26% year-on-year, led by the 32% growth in low cost CASA deposits. Consumer loans were up 43%. EastWest is the most consumer-focused universal bank in the country today. Consumer loans comprised 69% of its loan portfolio. EastWest continues to have an industry leading Net Interest Margin of 7.9%.

Trading revenues dropped 63% to Php166.5 million. "We are a true retail bank where income comes from the old-fashioned loans and deposits business, and not from volatile trading revenues. This means that our business is focused on serving customers well. We are convinced that's the way to go," Moncupa said.

Annualized return on equity was at 13.8% while return on assets was at 1.7%.