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UOB posts 1.6% increase in Q1 net profit to S$801 million

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United Overseas Bank (UOB) reported a 1.6 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit to S$801 million for Q1 2015, slightly under market expectations.

UNITED Overseas Bank (UOB) reported a 1.6 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit to S$801 million for Q1 2015, slightly under market expectations.

According to a Reuters poll of six analysts, the average forecast was for S$807 million.

Net interest income rose 8.3 per cent to S$1.2 billion, while loans grew at 7.8 per cent to S$203 billion and the loan-to-deposit ratio came to 83.4 per cent. Net interest margin was up three basis points to 1.76 per cent, thanks to improved loan pricing and higher securities yield.

Deputy chairman and chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said: "Net interest income was lifted by widening margins and growth in loans across our core markets and customer segments."

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Meanwhile, non-interest income rose 17.5 per cent to S$755 million, boosted by a 9.5 per cent increase in fee income to S$453 million, and higher trading and investment income from treasury customer income and investment gains. This contributed to a total income of S$1.96 billion for the quarter, up 11.6 per cent.

During the quarter, total operating expenses increased 12.9 per cent to S$852 million owing to higher staff costs, revenue and IT-related expenses. Operating profit was 10.7 per cent higher at S$1.1 billion, led by a broad-based increase in core income.

Share of associates' profits was lower at S$4 million, falling from S$43 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago, owing to a divestment gain in the prior period.

Annualised earnings per share were S$1.93, down marginally from S$1.94 a year ago.

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