MBSL marks strong turnaround in 1Q

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MBSL Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte
MBSL CEO (Actg) Jude Gamalath

The Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka and Finance PLC (MBSL) announced yesterday it has made a strong turnaround by posting a profit during one of the worst-affected periods in recent history demonstrating its ability and resilience to overcome obstacles. 

In a statement MBSL said the company faced many challenges in the first quarter of the year as well as in the months leading to it, but it has managed to turn the situation around to post a profit.

The pre-tax profit growth was 296%, up from pre-tax loss growth of 116% in the first quarter of 2020. Such profits are a direct result of the institution-wide changes that have been put in place to deal with the pandemic. The Net Interest Income increased 70% to Rs. 718 million from Rs. 422 million, in the first quarter of 2020. 

According to MBSL Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte the company has consistently proven resilient in the face of hardships. 

We have always prided ourselves on our ability to stay flexible and agile. Our ability to move with the times, our team’s sense of loyalty, and our commitment to excellence in any situation has helped us effectively to navigate through these difficult times and come out stronger. The company is turning around with renewed vigour, more focus and new strategies. We are very optimistic about our future,” Ratwatte added.

The growth in gross earnings was a result of increase in equity related activities and real estate income. The company’s customers’ loyalty was proven with an increase of deposits by 5% to Rs. 22.8 billion from Rs. 21.7 billion. Net fee and commission income increased by 33% as a result of improved business volumes. The company was able to curtail the operating cost by around 1% year on year with strict management of the costs.

The pandemic affected the overall numbers at MBSL but did not hesitate to implement all relief measures introduced in line with the government policies to cushion the impact of the pandemic on customers to assist improving their cash flows. 

MBSL Acting CEO Jude Gamalath said: “It was due to our utmost commitment to customer relationships that strengthened the trust they have in us, strong focus on key business areas, and the 100% dedication of our staff and management that we were able to post profits in one of the country’s worst periods in recent times. Such factors allowed us to create a quick turnaround in Q1 2021. We are happy that we have been able to do this and look forward to continued success in the future.”

MBSL entered the Sri Lankan financial sector as the country’s pioneer merchant bank in 1982 and was quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 1991. Subsequently registered as a licensed finance company under the Finance Business Act No. 42 of 2011 under the regulatory purview of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. MBSL caters to a wide range of customers through its key business activities which include Deposit Mobilisation, Savings, Leasing, Loans, Corporate Advisory and Capital Market Services, Gold Loan and Real Estate through a widespread network of 48 customer touch points including the Head Office. MBSL is a subsidiary of state-owned financial powerhouse Bank of Ceylon, which holds a strategic stake of 74%.