DBS’ reports record net profit for 2018 at SGD 5.63 billion

DBS Group has recorded a net profit of SGD 5.63 billion, a 28 percent increase.

Business momentum was maintained over the course of the year despite heightened economic uncertainty and financial market volatility in the second half, according to a news release on Monday, February 18.

Total income experienced an 11 percent increase to SGD 13.2 billion from loan and fee income growth as well as a higher net interest margin, which were partially offset by weaker Treasury Markets income.

Photo courtesy: DBS
Photo courtesy: DBS

Return on equity rose more than two percentage points to 12.1 percent, the highest in more than a decade. Fourth-quarter earnings increased 8 percent to SGD 1.32 billion. Total income grew 6 percent to SGD 3.25 billion as sustained loan growth and net interest margin progression over the quarter were moderated by a decline in Treasury Markets income.

Full-year net interest income rose 15 percent to SGD 8.96 billion; while net interest margin increased 10 basis points to 1.85 percent with higher interest rates in Singapore and Hong Kong.

For the fourth quarter, net profit rose 8 percent from a year ago to SGD 1.32 billion. While business momentum remained healthy, the results were dampened by weakness in Treasury Markets income. The combined income of CBG/WM and IBG rose 16 percent to SGD 2.95 billion, while Treasury Markets income halved to SGD 92 million.

Compared to the previous quarter, fourth-quarter net profit was 7percent lower. The combined income of CBG/WM and IBG income was slightly higher while Treasury Markets income fell three-fifths.

Compared to the previous quarter, non-performing assets fell 4 percent to SGD 5.68 billion. The NPL rate declined from 1.6 percent to 1.5 percent.

The Board proposed a final dividend of 60 cents per share for approval at the forthcoming annual general meeting. This will bring the payout to $1.20 per share for the full year.

“We achieved financial results befitting our fiftieth anniversary, a year when we were also recognised as the world’s best bank and best digital bank. Return on equity of 12.1% was near the historical high of 2007, when interest rates were twice the levels today and capital requirements less stringent,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta. Photo courtesy: Youtube
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta. Photo courtesy: Youtube

“The structural improvements we have made to the profitability of our franchise – a shift towards higher-returns businesses, deeper customer relationships and more nimble execution – put us in good stead to navigate the challenges of the coming year,” Gupta added.