|Tuesday, 2 March 2004|
SMB Group post tax profit up 344% to Rs. 50.29 million
The Seylan Merchant Bank (SMB) Group has reported significant growth in key financial performance indicators for the year ended December 31, 2003, maintaining the trend of profitability.
In unaudited results released recently, the SMB Group reported a post tax profit of Rs 50.29 million, up 344 per cent from the Rs 11.3 million reported in 2002. This is the best-ever consolidated profit reported by SMB in its eleven-year history. The Net Income of the Group rose by 22 per cent to Rs 668 million from Rs 546 million in the corresponding period in 2002.
Meanwhile, the Bank's post tax profit increased from Rs 2.2 million to Rs 9.9 million, a growth of 339 per cent. The Bank reported Net Income growth of 18 per cent to Rs 565 million for the year ended December 31, 2003, compared to the Rs 478 million achieved in 2002.
Group Net Interest Income was up 20 per cent to Rs 111 million, while the Bank's Net Interest Income grew 44 per cent to Rs 91 million, during the period under review.
"We are pleased that SMB has been able to significantly improve on the trend of profitability set in 2002," SMB's Director/Deputy General Manager Sheanath De Soysa said. "Improvements in capital gains from bonds as well as in net interest margins contributed significantly to the profits achieved."
He said other factors that contributed to 2003 profits were good recovery of monies, improvements in productivity and efficiency among employees as well as increases in returns from the branch network.
Five of the Bank's branches have now been networked with the aim of providing customers with a more efficient service. "As further benefits to customers, we have set up a call centre, enabling customers to call in and check their account status. We also introduced a monthly statement for leasing and loan customers," de Soysa said.
If the political and economic situation of the country remains favourable, the SMB Group is confident of improving on this trend of profitability, he said. "We hope to upgrade our IT System to a sophisticated state-of-the-art system, increase productivity of employees through training and HR programs and thereby grow our business volumes."
SMB Group subsidiaries Seylan Merchant Leasing Limited (SMLL) and SMB Real Estate Limited also reported a profitable 2003, with SMLL reporting a profit of Rs 25 million and SMB Real Estate Limited reporting a profit of Rs 12 million.
SMB recently became one the first institutions to receive a licence from the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to operate on the debt securities exchange (DEX) of CSE, which is a new automated debt securities trading platform.
This system would create an opportunity for the public to easily buy or sell government treasury bills or bonds, paving the way for more people to invest in zero risk instruments.
SMB conducted the first-ever transaction on the DEX platform of the CSE in January 2004.
The Bank also entered into a joint venture agreement with OpenArc Systems Management (Pvt) Limited, through which a new company, OpenArc Global Solutions (Pvt) Limited would market software solutions locally as well as regionally.
A member of Ceylinco Consolidated, Seylan Merchant Bank Limited was incorporated in September 1992 and is registered by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as a Registered Finance Leasing Establishment under the Finance Leasing Act No. 56 of 2000.
Produced by Lake House