Record profit for NCB Financial

NCB had a good 2018 fiscal year with strong profit gains.

NCB Financial Group recorded record net profit of $28.6 billion for the financial year ended September 2018 with net profit attributable to the group’s stockholders of $28 billion, an increase of 46 percent or $8.9 billion over the prior year.
Based on the results an interim dividend of 70 cents per ordinary stock unit will be paid on December 7, to stockholders on record as at November 23, 2018.
Importantly, loans and advances, net of provision for credit losses, grew by 70 percent over the prior year to $372.6 billion, but was helped by the acquisition in 2017 of the majority shares and the consolidation of Clarien bank in the group financial. The inclusion in the group’s financial increased the portfolio by over US$700 million the company indicated. For the year, “there has been sizeable growth in the Jamaican loan book totalling $56.1 billion”, the company said. In addition, credit card receivables increased by 14 percent and the Cayman portfolio grew by 67 percent. Non-performing loans totalled $18.2 billion at September 2018 (September 30, 2017: $5.4 billion) and represented 4.8 percent of the gross loans compared to 2.5 percent as at September 30, 2017. This increase was due to the inclusion of Clarien which has a non-performing loan ratio of 11.8 percent.
 Customer deposits increased by $196.4 billion or 68 percent, to $484.8 billion, again primarily driven by the consolidation of Clarien which has deposits in excess of US$1.1 billion. The Jamaican deposit taking segments accounted for a total combined increase of 18 percent, the report to investors stated.
According to the directors of the group “for the financial year, operating income grew by 29 percent or $17.1 billion, to $76.5 billion. The growth in income was primarily driven by: Gains from foreign currency and investment activities increasing by 102 percent or $7.9 billion, resulting from an improving macro-economic environment coupled with high levels of JMD liquidity and declining interest rates generating a high demand for debt securities. Increased net interest income of 18 percent or $5.4 billion. The improvement was primarily attributable to the consolidation of Clarien’s results and growth in the Jamaican loan portfolio. Net fee and commission income growing by 15 percent or $2.1 billion. $1.1 billion of the increase was due to the consolidation of Clarien. The improved fees earned by our Jamaican entities were driven by an increase in the number of corporate finance, investment and financing solutions offered by NCBCM. There was also growth in fees earned by our payment services, retail and SME segments stemming from increased e-commerce and credit transactions. A 14 percent or $1.1 billion increase in premium income.”
Profit for the last quarter was $7.3 million attributable to shareholders resulting in earnings per share of $2.97 with mots of it earned from ongoing operations. For the full year EPS is $11.39 and is swollen by approximately $2 from non-recurring gains. NCB seems on target to report earnings in the $12 region for 2019. The stock traded up to $135 on Thursday and last traded at $133 for a PE of 11 times 2019 estimated earnings. With the markets PE around 15 times 2018 earnings the stock should be trading in the $175 to $200 range by the end of 2019, with dividend payments adding close to $4 to the pot. NCB Group is set to benefit from a growing Jamaican economy for some years to come and is therefore a good medium to long term investment.

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