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BML reaches MVR 1 bln as profits two years in a row

Bank of Maldives has revealed their net profit for the year 2017 as MVR 1.038 billion.

The bank had made a net profit of MVR 1.023 billion for 2016.

According to BML the profit before tax was MVR 1.416 billion, an increase of 4% in absolute terms and up 20% on an underlying basis versus the prior year.

With last year's net profit the company's directors board has recommended an increase in the dividend payout by 10% for 2017 to MVR 118.7 million at MVR 22 per ordinary share.

In the past year BML had implemented its largest ever program of investment in local communities under "Aharenge Bank" initiative. The program had been a breakthrough achievement with more than 50 distinct projects which supported charitable, academic, sports and environmental causes.

In a press released by Bank Of Maldives it read "while the Bank experienced higher funding costs and lower margins in some segments, solid business volumes and further improvement in loan book quality helped to compensate. The ratio of non-performing to total loans reduced from 7.0% to 4.1%, while new lending of MVR 4.4 billion helped a large number of local individuals and businesses. Deposits increased by 15% which was well ahead of market growth levels, while capital and liquidity ratios were comfortably in excess of regulatory requirements."

BML had also added more branches to its chain last year with the inclusion of 3 new outlets in the atolls as well as 14 new Self-Service Banking Centers.

Meanwhile its network of agents providing services in islands without a BML branch or ATM has increased from 191 to 230.

The banking company's CEO and managing director Andrew Healy commented about its achievements stating "the past year has further strengthened our confidence in the Bank’s strategic direction. The results show an increasingly robust bank which is continuing to simultaneously grow and invest. I would like to extend my thanks to our wonderful team of staff for their extraordinary dedication during the year. Thank you also to all our customers, old and new, for your support. You can be assured we will continue to work hard and humbly to meet your expectations.”

"It was particularly pleasing to see deposit growth of 15% which was well ahead of the market. New lending of MVR 4.4 billion supported a number of local individuals and businesses and very importantly, we saw further substantial improvement in loan book quality with our ratio of non-performing to total loans falling from 7.0% to 4.1%. It is worth recalling that this ratio stood at over 20% just three years ago” Healy commented about the deposit growth and improved loan book quality of BML.

He also emphasized on the bank's improved financial performance facilitating its increased investment in communities, when he said "Financial robustness has provided the necessary platform to step up initiatives to support individuals, families and businesses across the country. Therefore it is no coincidence that we managed to double our investment in local communities during the year and we will see further significant investment over the year ahead.”

The chairperson of BML's board of directors Saeeda Umar had commented positively on the bank's performance "as a Board, we are very pleased with the positive trajectory of our business which has given us the platform to propose to shareholders a record dividend for 2017. I am proud that we achieved our best ever financial performance and it was particularly satisfying that we concurrently managed to step up, also to a record level, our investment under our ‘Aharenge Bank’ program which continues to benefit communities throughout the country."

Further more she also spoke about BML's plans for international expansion saying that the bank has "worked hard over recent years to implement a strategy designed to deliver the highest international standards in every aspect of our business."

"We feel we have made good progress and that now is the right time to look beyond the shores of the Maldives. Our main focus will of course always be on our home country where our business growth and extensive ongoing investment program demonstrate our commitment" she added.

She also stressed that an overseas expansion would mean the bank would experience diversification benefits and would generate revenue to support investments back in Maldives.

BML board of directors' chairperson had also confirmed that the company has applied for a banking license in "another Asian country" and hoped they will be up and running before the end of 2018.