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Year-End Results For Banks

R&G Financial, First Bancorp, W Holding, and Santander Bancorp, report solid growth


February 3, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Growth, growth, and more growth was the story for the banking sector in 2004.

R&G Financial Corp. reported record gain in net income for 2004. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2004, net income amounted to $160.2 million, compared with $131.0 million in 2003, an improvement of 22%. Net interest income increased by 23% to $230.9 million due to an increase in earning assets during the period, while gain on sale of loans increased 19% to $175.5 million. Total loan production in 2004 was $4.8 billion. Total banking assets of the company increased 27% during 2004 to $9.4 billion. Víctor Galán, chairman & CEO of the corporation, was excited about the year’s accomplishments. "We are pleased to report another strong quarter of earning and loans production," he said. "We ended 2004 with record assets of $10.2 billion resulting from continued strong demand in residential and commercial lending both in Puerto Rico and Central Florida as evidenced by our $1.5 billion record loan production during the fourth quarter of 2004."

First Bancorp also had a record-breaking year with earnings of $178,877,788 or $3.44 per common share (basic) and $3.34 per common share (diluted). Full year 2004 results represent an earnings increase of $42,004,574 or 31.46 compared with 2003. Net interest income increased by $91 million for the year to end at $383.2 million. Return on assets and return on equities for the year were 1.29% and 22.76% respectively. During 2004, the corporation experienced solid asset growth ending the year with assets of $15.6 billion up 23.3% from total assets in December 2003. Loans increased to $9.5 billion, an increase of 34.5% from year-end 2003. Commenting on the year, Ángel Álvarez Pérez, CEO of First Bancorp, said, "2004 was a challenging year due to the uncertainty of interest rates. Notwithstanding this, we have earned record profits through the continuous growth of our loan portfolios, especially commercial and residential loans, and maintaining low delinquencies and write offs."

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2004, W Holding reported a net income of $171.9 million, compared to a $113.3 million for the same period in 2003, an increase of $58.6 million or 51.67%. Loans receivable-net grew $1.3 billion or 26.86% to $5.9 billion at the end of 2004 compared to $4.7 billion at the end of 2003. The investment portfolio grew by $1.2 billion or 19.91% from $5.8 billion at the end of 2003 to $6.9 billion at the end of 2004. Total assets ended at $14.3 billion increasing 24.46% from $11.5 billion in December 2003. Frank Stipes, president, chairman & CEO, of the company said that 2004 exceeded his expectations. "We were able to surpass our goal of $14 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, 2004, achieved our goal of reaching $170 million in net income for the year and above all, we were able to produce such outstanding asset quality with an overall delinquency ratio of 0.57%."

In the period from 2003 to 2004, Santander Bancorp actually managed to double its earnings. Net income for 2004 amounted to $84.5 million, a 114.1% improvement over the net income of $39.4 million for 2003. Earnings per common share for 2004 amounted to $1.81 per share, a $1.12 improvement compared to $0.69 per share in 2003. Net interest income improved 32.3%, reaching $213.1 million, compared to $161 million for the same period in 2003. Net loans reached $5.5 billion as of December 31, 2004, up 33% from the year before. Santander was able to cut operating expenses by $6.2 million. Total assets as of Dec. 31, 2004, increased by $1 billion or 13% to $8.3 billion compared with $7.4 billion during the same period in 2003.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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