86% surge in Scotia Group Q3 profit

An 86 percent surge in profit after taxation at Scotia Group pushed the July 2021 quarter profit to $2.8 billion over $1.55 billion reported in 2020, a period heavily impacted by a massive provision for credit losses amounting to $2.57 billion. Profit after tax for the nine months to July climbed 31 percent to $7.29 billion compared to $5.56 billion last year, helped by the drop in credit loss provisioning in the current year.

Scotia Group headquarters in Kingston.

Net interest income fell 8.4 percent for the third quarter to $5.7 billion from $6.2 billion in 2020 and slipped 9 percent to $17 billion for the nine months to July from $18.7 billion in 2020. Expected credit losses for the latest quarter of $584 million was a fraction of the 2020 provision. For the nine months expected credit losses dropped sharply to $1.99 billion from $5.25 billion in 2020. Falling interest rates on investments, reduction in lending and growth in funds deposited by the public would have negatively impacted the results. The recent increase in interest rates by the Bank of Jamaica could benefit the group with investments and loans that could generate higher income and widen the net interest income margin.
Net fees and commission income rose to $1.95 billion from $1.65 in 2020 in the third quarter but fell slightly from $5.08 billion in 2020 to $4.99 billion in 2021 for the nine months. Gains on foreign currency activities slipped from $1.75 billion in July 2020 quarter to $1.65 billion and rose 17 percent to $6.2 billion from $5.3 billion for the nine months. Insurance revenues grew to 35 percent in the latest quarter to $696 million from $516 million and fell in the nine months to $2 billion from $2.4 billion. Other revenues brought in $1 billion for the nine months compared to just $39 million for the prior period and are attributable primarily to gains realized on the extinguishment of debt facilities.
Loans advanced to customers that stood at $222 billion at the end of July last year declined modestly to $216 billion at the end of July this year but is up slightly from $214.7 billion at the end of April this year. The report to shareholders stated that mortgage loans recorded growth of 11 percent year over year and is similar to increase up to the April quarter. Growth in loans is essential for the group is it is an area that contributes most to the rise in profits and creates stability in earnings.

Audrey Tugwell Henry Scotia group’s CEO

Operating expenses slipped marginally from $5.76 billion in 2020 to $5.69 billion for the July quarter as employment cost fell from $2.46 billion to $2.26 billion and property expenses slipped to $492 million from $573 million in 2020. For the nine months to July, Operating expenses rose to $19 billion from $18.75 billion in 2020, primarily due to an increase in other operating expenses of $1 billion and partially offset by the reduction in salaries and staff benefit costs of $602 million. The increase in other operating expenses was due to restructuring costs and technology expenses. The group reported that operating expenses would be $263 million or 1.4 percent lower than the prior comparative period, excluding restructuring and additional one-off costs.
Segment results show the problem local banks have with retail banking. That segment generates the most income for Scotia but contributes the least in profits. For the nine months to July, Retail Banking contributed $1.3 billion to profit on revenues of $14 billion and in 2020, the segment contributed a loss of $975 million from revenues of $14.5 billion. Treasury generated $1.3 billion in segment profits from $2.9 million in revenues to third parties against $1.46 billion from revenues of $3.1 billion in 2020. Corporate Banking resulted in a profit of $3.5 billion on revenues of $8.44 billion and profit of $3.23 billion on revenues of $8 billion in 2020. Investment Banking delivered a profit of $1.85 billion on revenues of $2.6 billion and profit of $1.3 billion on revenues of $2.29 billion in 2020 and Insurance produced profit of $2.12 billion on revenues of $3.1 billion and profit of $2.5 billion with revenues of $3.48 billion in 2020.
Customer deposits grew 10.7 percent to $371 billion to July, from $335 billion for the comparable quarter of 2020. Investment securities rose from $141 billion at the end of July 2020 to $146 billion after dipping to $116 billion at the end of the 2020 fiscal year and cash resources stood at $147 billion, up from $116 billion at the end of July 2020.
Shareholders’ equity ended at $116 billion at the end of July this year, up from $110 billion as of July 2020.
Earnings per share stood at 90 cents for the July quarter and $2.34 for the nine months this year and should end up around $3.50 for the entire year; for 2022, and earnings should exceed $4 per share.  At the close of trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Main Market to stock at $39 at the start of the final week of September.
While the stocks trade at 11 times the current year’s earnings, 2022 should see growth in profits, thus reducing the valuation most likely below ten times 2022 earnings.

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