Renuka Fernando | Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake

Nations Trust Bank (NTB) closed the first 6 months ending 30th June 2015 with a post-tax profit of Rs.1.25 billion, up 9 per cent over the corresponding period in 2014.

“The results for the quarter were significantly better with post tax profits recording a commendable growth of 26 per cent.

Operating margins improved during the first 6 months as core revenue recorded a faster rate of growth than operating expenses. However, the improved operating margins did not translate to a similar bottom line growth owning to higher impairment charges. Loans and advances recorded a steady growth of 5 per cent for the first 6 months amidst high market liquidity and intense price competition,” the bank said in a media release.

The drop in interest expenses of 20 per cent outweighed the drop in interest income of 6 per cent thereby improving NII. The challenges present in the current low interest rate operating environment was somewhat mitigated by timely re-pricing of assets and liabilities, the bank said.

Operating expenses were contained at a growth of 5 per cent with Cost Income ratio trending down to 52 per cent from 54 per cent reported for the corresponding period.

Commenting on the results, Renuka Fernando, Director/ CEO stated; “The positive macro outlook is expected to continue and we are confident that the positive trends seen in credit growth will continue beyond 2015. The banking landscape is fast changing with the low interest rate regime bringing about many challenges but at the same time opportunities”.