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News > DBS Q1 profit surges 72% to record $2.01 billion

DBS Q1 profit surges 72% to record $2.01 billion

Friday 30 April 2021

DBS Group on Friday (April 30) trumped market forecasts with a 72 per cent jump in first-quarter earnings as business fired on all fronts with faster loan growth and record fee income.

Net profit for the three months to end-March rose to $2.01 billion from $1.17 billion a year ago - the first time quarterly earnings crossed the $2 billion mark and the first growth in more than a year. The earnings also blew past the $1.44 billion average estimate of six analysts polled. 

DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta said: "This has been an extraordinary quarter for our business as we fired on all cylinders. Loan and deposit growth were robust, fees were strong and treasury had a record performance. At the same time, we remained disciplined on costs while asset quality was resilient.

"The global economic rebound is strengthening and DBS is bullish about prospects for the coming year," he said.

The bank upgraded its outlook on full-year loan growth to a mid-to-high single digit. 

Mr Gupta noted that the bank's franchise has been enhanced by new growth platforms, including stakes in Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank and in blockchain-based platform Partior.

"We are in a position of strength to support customers and deliver shareholder returns as the economic recovery takes hold," the bank chief said.

DBS saw record fee income from broad-based growth, largely boosted by wealth management and transaction services.

Wealth management fees rose 24 per cent to a record $519 million as strong investor sentiment drove demand across a wide range of investment products in a low interest rate environment.

Transaction service fees increased 10 per cent to $230 million - also a new high - as trade finance and cash management fees grew.

DBS' net interest income dipped 15 per cent year on year to $2.11 billion.

A 37 basis point decline in net interest margin to 1.49 per cent - due to global interest rate cuts - was moderated by loan growth of 7 per cent.

The bank's non-performing loan ratio strengthened to 1.5 per cent from 1.6 per cent a year ago.

Compared with the previous quarter, the lender's net profit almost doubled from $1 billion.