Lower Q4 profit squeezes Scotia Group

Scotia hq 25 9-14Scotia Group Jamaica (Scotia Group) reported profit after tax of $10.1 billion for the year ended October, 2014, a decrease of $774 million or 7 percent compared with the net income of $10.9 billion in 2013.
The results for the fourth quarter of $2.5 billion represents an increase of $129 million or 5 percent over the same period last year, and a decrease of $188 million or 7 percent compared to the previous quarter ended July, 2014.
Earnings per share were $3.14 compared to $3.37 in 2013, and the Return on Average Equity was 13.41 percent, down from 15.67 percent last year. During the October quarter, income from foreign currency trading fell sharply from the July quarter, from $636 million to only $234 million and insurance revenues dropped from $661 million to $495 million, a fall of $166 million or 25 percent. While insurance income was higher than in the 2013 quarter at $476 million, the foreign exchange trading gains was still well below the $677 million generated in the 2013 quarter. Loan loss impairment fell to $227 million in the October 2014 quarter slightly higher than the $191 million in 2013 but much lower than the $497 million in the July 2014 quarter.
Jackie Sharp, President and CEO said, “Scotia Group experienced another year of solid performance across all business lines. We saw 9 percent growth year over year in our Commercial & SME portfolios; 6 percent growth in our retail loan portfolio; 12 percent growth in mortgages; and our Premium Money Market Fund which is offered by our subsidiary, Scotia Investments surpassed the $10 Billion mark. During the last half of the year, we have seen strong growth and we are poised for another successful year in 2015.”
Net interest income after impairment losses for the year was $22.9 billion, an increase of $57 million compared to 2013. Other revenue for this financial year amounted to $10.9 billion, a reduction of $465 million or 4 percent compared to 2013. Net fee and commission income remained stable year over year, despite the growth in loan and transaction volumes. Net gains on foreign currency activities decreased by $767 million, while net gains on financial assets increased by $520 million compared to the prior year.
ScotiaBank Falmth crpOperating Expenses for the year amounted to $20.2 billion, an increase of $527 million or 2.7 percent compared 2013. The Group experienced an increase in the asset, premium and minimum business taxes of $861 million as a result of the increased rates implemented earlier in the year.
Loans, after allowance for impairment losses amount to $145.7 billion as at the year-end is only up by just over $1 billion from the $144.6 billion at the end of the July quarter but increased 8 percent from $134.8 billion in October 2013.
Non-performing loans (NPLs) at October 31, 2014 totaled $4.9 billion, reflecting an increase of $411 million from prior year. Total NPLs now represent 3.32 percent of total gross loans compared to 3.29 percent last year and 3.31 percent as at July 31, 2014.Interest rates are falling on the deposit side that shows up in lower interest cost in the October quarter over that of the July quarter.
Looking ahead|Scotia should be able to manage the net interest income to their benefit going forward as Treasury bill rate continue to fall. The lower foreign exchange earnings in the last quarter is tied up in the revaluation of the Jamaican dollar during the quarter and should show improvement in the January 2015 quarter with some moderate slippage in the value of the Jamaican dollar. The slow growth in lending is likely to continue for a while longer and will act as a drag of accelerated income and profit growth. Investors should be looking for a gradual growth in profit rather than a big spurt, at any rate earnings should be climbing towards the $3.50 level in 2015.
The Board of Directors approved a final dividend of 40 cents per stock unit payable on January 13, 2015. The stock closed at $20, at the end of trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Friday.

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