The Commercial Bank Group comprising of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, its subsidiaries and associates, have reported a gross income of 35.501 billion rupees till the end of March 2019. This is an improvement of 12.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018. The Group posted profit before income tax ComBank Deposits Surpass One Trillion Rupees of 5.019 billion rupees and profit after income tax of 3.191 billion rupees in the first quar- ter of 2019. This performance reflects the impact from key sectors of the economy, lower exchange profits – resulting from translation losses on for- eign exchange and higher taxa- tion. These external factors Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman, Commercial Bank. S Renganathan, Managing Director/CEO, Commercial Bank. negatively impacted profits despite sound operational re- sults reported by the Group. Dharma Dheerasinghe, the Chairman, Commercial Bank commenting on the Bank’s performance, said that he is happy to note that the confi- dence of valued customers has enabled the Bank to reach the milestone of one trillion rupees in deposits. “However, the rate of taxation on banks continues to be a matter of concern, par- ticularly in the context of the challenging external conditions affecting the industry. As a systemically important bank and as a responsible stake- holder of the economy, we need to focus on further increasing our capacity to support key sec- tors of the economy, and while the taxes we pay represent one form of support, there are many others including SMEs that need attention,” he said.
S Renganathan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank, ex- plained that the Bank has fol- lowed a more cautious approach in expanding its advances portfolio during these challeng- ing economic conditions, which has contributed to a marginal decline in the loan book in comparison to December, 2018. He said this has contributed to a drop in net interest income and has also had a cascading effect on the Group’s profit after tax.
S Renganathan added, “De- spite the decline in advances, I am happy to say that the Bank has continued to support the SME sector, as reflected in the satisfactory growth of this portfolio during the quarter”.