DBS Group Holdings lifted earnings to record levels in the first quarter, thanks to good performances by businesses such as wealth management.
Net profit inched up 1 per cent to $1.21 billion, beating the average forecast of $1.09 billion by Reuters and setting a new benchmark for quarterly earnings.
If one-time items - such as a gain of $350 million from selling PwC Building - were included, net profit was $1.25 billion for the three months to March 31.
Total income also increased 1 per cent to $2.89 billion, compared with the same period a year ago.
Net interest income was stable at $1.83 billion while net interest margins - the difference between interest income generated and the amount of interest paid to lenders - was 1.74 per cent, down from 1.85 per cent.
Quarterly loans rose 7 per cent to $298 billion in constant currency terms as corporate, trade and Singapore housing loans grew.
AT A GLANCE
TOTAL INCOME: $2.89 billion (+1%)
NET PROFIT: $1.21 billion (+1%)
Net fee and commission income rose 16 per cent to $665 million, led by "a 26 per cent increase in wealth management fees to a quarterly high of $222 million from stronger sales of unit trusts and other investment products".
But other non-interest income fell 15 per cent to $390 million, partly owing to lower trading gains.
Quarterly earnings per share excluding one-time items was $1.90, compared with $1.92 a year ago, while net book value was $17.37 a share, compared with $16.39 a year earlier. DBS shares closed 51 cents higher at $19.86 yesterday, following the results briefing.