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Steady performance by Public Bank

KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank Bhd recorded a net profit of RM5.66bil in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021 (FY21), a 16.11% improvement over RM4.87bil in the previous year.

The financial services group reported revenue of RM19.62bil, which was slightly lower than RM20.3bil in 2020.

“The Public Bank Group’s sound fundamentals and business strengths in its core lending and deposit business continued to support the group’s financial performance,” said group founder, chairman emeritus, director and adviser Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow in a statement.

He also attributed the improved profit growth to the low base effect in 2020 due to the Covid-19 health crisis and closure of most economic activities.

In the fourth quarter, net profit was RM1.38bil, which represented a 20.29% increase over the same quarter in the previous year, while revenue was 1.18% lower year-on-year at RM4.86bil.

Despite the growth performance, Teh noted that the operating environment remained extremely challenging in 2021 due to the continuation of the pandemic, rising inflation and flash floods in several Malaysian states.

“Despite the challenges in 2021, the Public Bank Group was able to steer through the difficult year with sustained balance sheet strength.

“The group continued to demonstrate its resilience with net return-on-equity of 12.4% and efficient cost-to-income ratio of 31.6%,” he added.

The board of directors declared a second interim dividend of 7.7 sen per share to be paid on March 22, 2022, based on the dividend entitlement date of March 14, 2022.

This brought the total payout for the year to 15.2 sen or RM2.95bil, which is 52.2% of the group’s net profit in 2021.

Over the 12-month period, Public Bank achieved total loan growth of 3.6% to RM358bil.

Domestic loans grew 3.4% to RM334.6bil, on the back of lending for residential properties, hire-purchase and small and medium businesses.

Total customer deposits grew 4% to RM380.4bil, with total domestic customer deposits growing 4.5% to RM352.6bil.

The bank’s funding position was stable, with gross loan-to-fund and equity ratio of 80%.

Non-interest income, however, contracted 7.3% due to the reduction in investment income amid a volatile market in 2021.

Nevertheless, the unit trust business and fee and commission income grew 18.1% and 13.2%, respectively.

“The Public Bank Group’s unit trust business, undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary Public Mutual, registered a commendable pre-tax profit growth of 22.8% in 2021, as compared to 2020.

“As at the end of December 2021, Public Mutual managed a total of 177 unit trust funds with assets under management increasing by 4.3% to RM104.6bil, capturing a large retail market share of 34.6%,” said Teh.


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