Even with the acquisition of eight new territories under its belt, COVID-19 still has had a negative impact on the Trinidad and Tobago-based Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL), which saw a reduction of net interest margins, fees and commissions in its first quarter that was offset by a TT$17.3 million increase due to the acquisition of Scotiabank’s British Virgin Islands in June 2020.
Despite net interest income declining by a marginal amount to TT$1 billion, the four per cent fall in other income at TT$456.5 million lead to a two per cent fall in operating income to TT$1.46 billion. A minor drop in operating expenses and share of profits of associate was not enough to make up for the four per cent decline in operating profit to TT$608.6 million.
With a negligible increase in credit loss exposure and a 20 per cent fall in taxes, consolidated net profit increased by three per cent to TT$424.4 million while net profit attributable to shareholders climbed by five per cent to TT$391.3 million ($8.6 billion). This resulted in a basic earnings per share of $2.41 versus the $2.30 in the prior period.
Total assets grew by three per cent to TT$104.7 billion ($2.3 trillion) mainly due to a five per cent increase in advances to TT$54.7 million while total liabilities a similar 2 per cent to TT$93.3 billion. Equity attributable to shareholders rose by two per cent to TT$10.3 billion ($227 million).
“The uncertainty over the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of any economic recovery will continue to place downward pressure on our performance. However, we remain confident of the future as our strong capital base and our robust governance structure will provide the platform to meet the challenge. Our focus remains on building the group’s resiliency through various initiatives aimed at improving efficiency, supporting our customers through these trying times, expanding our suite of electronic products and making it easier for clients to access these products remotely,” stated chairman of RFHL Vincent Pereira in the first quarter report.
“Going forward, we will continue to work with our customers, provide a safe working environment for our employees and assist the communities we serve via our Power To Make a Difference Programme,” he said.