JMMB's nine-month profit up 17%

JMMB's nine-month profit up 17%

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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REGIONAL financial entity, JMMB Group, has posted net profit of $3.02 billion for the nine-month period ending December 31, 2018.

The improved performance in the company's bottom line, which represents a 17 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2017, was largely driven by growth in its core business operations. The financial institution highlighted foreign exchange trading gains, fees and commission income, and net interest income as the main contributors.

Foreign exchange trading gains saw a significant increase of $1.01 billion, or 113 per cent, amounting to $1.90 billion, as a result of increased trading activity and growth in the regional markets, over the period. Fees and commission income grew by 40 per cent, amounting to $1.84 billion; while net interest income of the Group also grew by 18 per cent, or $1.01 billion.

The performance triggered a 12 per cent year over year growth in net operating revenue for the Group, totalling $13.77 billion for the period under review.

Despite the improved performance, JMMB Group saw a 9 per cent increase in its operational expenses over the corresponding period amounting to $9.48 billion for the nine months ending December 2018. The financial institution reasoned that the increase was primarily attributed to costs associated with its integrated Group sales and support framework, in addition to the continued expansion of commercial banking services in Jamaica, and project-related activities geared towards driving operational efficiency.

Nevertheless, the Group's efficiency ratio improved from 71 per cent to 69 per cent, outpacing the growth of its expenses.

“We are pleased with the overall consistent performance of the company, especially the solid results shown in our banking and related services, and investments portfolios, which reflect our commitment to building out our integrated regional financial partnership strategy.” JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan said in commenting on the Group's performance.

At the end of the reporting period, the JMMB Group's asset base totalled $310.76 billion, an increase of $19.04 billion, or a 7 per cent year over year. The increase was attributable to a larger loan and investment portfolio and the maintenance of a loan portfolio credit quality, which the company said, is comparable to international standards.

Shareholders' equity, however, declined to $25.99 billion. JMMB, in arguing that the Group remains adequately capitalised, said equity was impacted by the adoption of IFRS 9, at the start of the financial year, coupled with the decline in emerging markets' bond prices.

“As we look forward to the process of leveraging strategic synergies and improving operational efficiency, over the strategic period ending in 2020/2021, the JMMB Group will continue to introduce innovative financial offerings across the markets in which it operates, thereby filling gaps identified in the financial sector,” Duncan noted in sharing insight into the Group's direction.

JMMB Group said it will also place more focus, in the short to medium-term, on the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector.

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