“Songshine was a kind of miracle. I was lucky enough to be part of making it happen.” — Gillian Moor
The First Citizens Group earned profit before tax of $790.8 million for the financial year ended September 30, 2015 and now has assets totaling $37.5 billion which includes proceeds for the National Gas Company’s initial public offering (IPO) of $2.7 billion.
The group’s latest financial report, which has been posted to the T&T Stock Exchange, also shows profit after tax of $630.4 million.
“There was also significant growth in both our customer loans and investments portfolios of 24 per cent and 15.8 per cent respectively. The group’s funding base grew marginally by 0.1 per cent to $27.7 billion,” Group CEO Karen Darbasie said in her report to shareholders.
“We have been able to significantly grow our loan and investment portfolio while simultaneously focusing on our asset quality to ensure improvements in our delinquency ratios and nonperforming loans (NPLs) ratios.”
At the end of 2015 First Citizens’ NPLs as a percentage of total loans stood at 3.39 per cent.
Darbarsie said at a time of challenges in the global economic environment and signs of recession in the local economy, First Citizens is focused on its non-interest income product set, which has shown good growth within the last year. The group’s fee generating businesses including electronic banking and local capital markets have grown, she said.
“In addition we are seeing the positive impact of our investments in our businesses in Barbados and Costa Rica within the context of our group diversification strategy.
Darbasie said the group’s subsidiaries performed well, expanding the range of products and services they offer and growing in market share and profitability.
She added: “The Asset Management Company has increased assets under management from $13.9 billion to $15.3 billion and its profit before tax from $95.8 million to $111.9 million.
“Trustee Company focused on streamlining its operations and increasing its revenue generating capability, with fee income increasing from $36.1 million in 2014 to $39.8 million in 2015. The First Citizens Investment Services Ltd also contributed $131.1 million to profit before tax.”
She said based on the condition of the local and regional economies, First Citizens will continue its efforts at managing expenses and ensuring robust risk management.
“Focus remains on these two main areas in order to ensure that the growth and stability of the Group continue,” she said.