DBS Group’s has reported a record net profit for first quarter of 2019, with an increase of 9 percent to SGD 1.65 billion.
In a press statement on Monday, April 29, DBS noted that total income grew 6 percent to a new high of SGD 3.55 billion.
Healthy business momentum and a higher net interest margin underpins the record performance. New non-performing asset formation remained low and total allowances halved. Return on equity also rose to 14 percent, the highest in more than a decade.
Compared to the year-ago period, net interest income rose 9 percent to SGD 2.31 billion. Loans grew 5 percent in constant-currency terms to SGD 347 billion. The increase was led by non-trade corporate loans, which expanded 11 percent from broad-based activities across the region. Consumer loans were 3 percent higher.
Compared to the previous quarter, net profit was 25 percent higher. This was boosted by a recovery in wealth management and trading income. Overall business momentum was sustained, DBS added.
Net interest income rose 1 percent on a day-adjusted basis. Loans grew 1 percent as non-trade corporate loans increased 3 percent from working capital and deal-related borrowing led by Singapore and Hong Kong corporates.
Dividend payment frequency changed to four times a year
DBS Board has also decided that, from financial year 2019, dividends will be paid four – instead of two – times a year. This is to provide shareholders with more regular income streams.
The policy of paying sustainable dividends that rise progressively with earnings remains unchanged, DBS said.
For the first quarter, the Board declared a dividend of SGD 30 cents per share, consistent with the previous financial year’s payout of SGD 1.20 per share. The first-quarter dividend is scheduled to be paid on May 31, 2019.
The final dividend of financial year 2018 of SGD 60 cents a share, which was approved by shareholders at the recent annual general meeting, is scheduled to be paid on May 17, 2019.
“We have had a good start to the year as business momentum was sustained and non-interest income recovered from the recent weakness," said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta.
"The record earnings and ROE progression demonstrate the strengthened profitability of our franchise from digitalisation, a shift towards higher-returns businesses and more nimble execution. We are well placed to continue capturing growth opportunities across the region and delivering healthy shareholder returns,” he added.