SINGAPORE (May 11): Singapura Finance reported earnings of $1.2 million for the 1Q18 ended March, a decline of 30.5% from $1.7 million in 1Q17 last year.

As interest income and hiring charges fell 4.4% to $7.3 million and interest expense fell 27.3% to $1.9 million, net interest and hiring charges rose 8% to $5.3 million.

Fee and commission income fell 6.7% to $%293,000 but other operating income more than doubled to $164,000. Income before operating expenses rose 6.7% to $5.8 million.

Total operating expenses were well managed, with the decline of $0.4 million or 12.6% coming largely from other operating expenses.

Therefore, group’s profit from operations before allowances was $2.7 million, 44.1% higher than a year ago.

There was an allowance for impairment loss on loans of $1.3 million compared to a net write-back for impairment loss on loans of $0.1 million a year ago.

The group continues to set aside adequate impairment allowances in respect of its loan portfolio.

Profit after tax came in a 30.5% lower at $1.2 million.

As at Dec 31, total loan net of allowances dipped 5.2% to $708 million compared to $747 million. In line with the lower loan balance, total customers’ deposits was down 10.4% to $724 million as at end March compared to $808 million as at Dec 2017.

Singapura Finance expects a challenging time ahead, given the increased volatility in global economic outlook and the likely competitive pressures on the funding costs.

Nevertheless, the group will continue to be prudent in seeking new business opportunities and be proactive in managing our interest margin, credit exposure and operating expenses to remain competitive.

Shares in Singapura Finance closed at $1.01 on Friday.