Regional financial services company the JMMB Group has reported a J$1.12 billion (US$8.3 million) net profit, for the first quarter of its 2019/2020 financial year. This is a 17 per cent increase over the same period last year, the group said in a release last week.
The Jamaican company also recorded a 25 per cent increase in operating revenue to J$5.84 billion (US$40 million).
The group’s performance was largely driven by growth in its core business operations.
Net gains on securities trading increased by 35 per cent to J$2.16 billion (US$16 million), due to an improved outlook for emerging market assets, which resulted in increased trading activities.
There was also a 45 per cent increase in foreign exchange trading gains to J$744.67 million (US$5.5 million), driven by increased trading volume and growth in regional markets.
Fees and commission income grew by 53 per cent, to J$736.67 million (US$5.49 million), spurred by the significant growth in managed funds and collective investment schemes across the group. Net interest income grew six per cent to J$2.20 billion (US$16 million) as a result of strong growth in loan and investment portfolios.
JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan said in the release that the company's financial performance reflects its commitment to building an integrated regional financial partnership strategy and underscores a strategic thrust centred on increased efficiency and effective capital management, improved client experience, growth of core revenue and efficient cost management.
Even as the company manages its efficiency, it saw an increase in its operational expenses over the corresponding period by 15 per cent, amounting to J$3.84 billion (US$29 million), which was largely attributed to the continued build-out of commercial banking services in Jamaica and the expansion of JMMB Express Finance (JEF) in TT.
The group’s efficiency ratio (operation costs as a per cent of revenue) improved from 72 per cent to 66 per cent.
At the end of the first quarter, the JMMB Group’s asset base totalled J$351.39 billion (US$2.6 billion), up ten per cent from the start of the financial year. This increase was a result of the larger loan and investment portfolio, and the maintenance of a loan portfolio credit quality that is comparable to international standards.
During the first quarter, JMMB announced its commitment by investing a minimum of US$200 million in Toronto-based Alignvest Acquisition ll Corporation, which last year announced its acquisition of Sagicor. Once the merger is complete, the new entity, New Sagicor, will become an associated company of the JMMB Group.
Over the next year, JMMB will the focus on expanding the market share of core businesses and tapping new markets and market segments. In keeping with this, in the short to medium term it will look at the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector in order to drive growth, assist individuals to achieve their goals and support business expansion.