HBL declared a consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of Rs51.5 billion for the first half of 2023 (January-June), nearly 50% higher than the same period of the previous year, it said in a press release issued on Wednesday.
The PBT of Rs30 billion for the second quarter of 2023 (April-June) was the highest in HBL’s history based on performance of its core business lines.
Along with the results, HBL declared an interim dividend of Rs2.00 per share (20%), taking the total payout for H1’23 to Rs 3.50 per share.
“This performance was driven by its domestic franchise which grew profits by 63%; the international business is now delivering sustainable and improved operating performance, making a positive contribution to the Bank’s bottom line,” the press release by HBL added.
“Despite excessive and unfair taxation introduced in the Federal Budget the Bank’s profit-after-tax doubled to Rs26.3 billion over the corresponding period last year which was also marred by excessive and retrospective tax measures. Earnings per share for the half year were Rs17.86 compared to Rs 8.10 for H1’22.
“HBL’s balance sheet grew by 7% over December 2022 to Rs4.9 trillion, driven by a Rs224 billion growth in deposits. Domestic deposits crossed the Rs 3 trillion mark,with low-cost deposits increasing by Rs 162 billion.”
HBL said its average domestic deposits increased by more than Rs300 billion; 90% of this growth was from cheaper deposits enabling the Bank to keep its funding cost at manageable levels.
“Advances declined as private sector demand reduced in light of the record-high borrowing costs. Most of this decline was in lending to corporates; agriculture and consumer lending held steady even in the face of macroeconomic headwinds while microfinance loans increased by 7%.
“In the rising interest rate environment, net interest margins widened by 192 bps and, combined with a Rs460 billion growth in the average domestic balance sheet, resulted in a 53% increase in net interest income.
“With a strong contribution now coming from international markets as well, HBL’s total interest income rose to Rs114 billion.
“HBL’s enviable fee franchise continued to deliver excellent results, with fees growing by 31% to nearly Rs20 billion. Its flagship Cards business accounted for more than 60% of the growth along with solid performances from trade, cash management, and consumer finance. The Bank’s total revenue for H1’23 thus increased by 41% to Rs138 billion.
“During the quarter, inflation continued to rise, with a weaker rupee further impacting the cost base. Despite these headwinds, proactive cost management efforts contained expense growth to only 2.5% over the previous quarter, improving the cost/income ratio from 60.8% in Q1’23to 54.5% in Q2’23. The net infection ratio of 0.8% remains below industry levels and prudent provisioning has ensured that coverage remains in excess of 100%.”
Commenting on the performance, Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO at HBL, said, “HBL’s H1’23 results, underpinned by client centricity, were driven by strong organic growth. Exceptional performance across all business segments further cemented the Bank’s leadership position.
“We will continue to invest in our digital capabilities and are committed to providing the best possible banking experience.The recognition by Asiamoney as the ‘Best Bank for Digital Solutions Pakistan’ is a tribute to millions of clients’ continued trust and confidence in HBL. The Bank continues to help its customers navigate challenging periods, emphasizing sustainability and giving back to the community.”