HLB's Q2 net earnings rise to RM520.2m

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank Bhd's (HLB) net earnings rose 24.2 per cent to RM520.28 million in the second quarter ended December 31 2013, from RM508 million a year ago.

The bank has rewarded shareholders with a dividend of 15 sen a share.

HLB's pre-tax profit rose 3.9 per cent to RM663.40 million, partialy due to a higher net income of RM50.60 million.

This was, however, offset by higher allowance for impairment losses on loans, advances and financing of RM34.1 million and higher operating expenses of RM8 million.

Group revenue increased by five per cent to RM1.05 billion from RM1 billion, while earnings per share were 29.55 sen compared with 28.98 sen previously.

For the first half, HLB's earnings rose eight per cent to RM1.06 billion from RM985.62 million.

Meanwhile, its revenue increased by 3.8 per cent to RM2.08 billion from RM2 billion.

HLB's group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Kong Khoon said despite the challenging environment, it continued to achieve a commendable set of results for the first half of fiscal year 2014.

"All key business drivers remained robust with improved growth momentum, reflecting our strong underlying operations. In particular, gross loans for the group surpassed the RM100 billion mark," he said in a statement yesterday.

"The bank continued to deliver sustainable shareholder value creation with return on equity of 15.9 per cent and earnings per share of 60 sen for the first half of this financial year. Return on assets was enhanced to 1.29 per cent," Tan added.