One-off costs trim COL profit

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COL Financial Group Inc. recorded flat net income in the January-September period on the back of one-time taxes and expenses.

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“Despite the strong performance of its core operations, headline profits for the first nine months of 2015 were flattish at P246.4 million as COL booked P23.7 million worth of non-recurring taxes and related expenses,” the online brokerage firm said in a statement.

Without the one-offs, recurring profits grew by 8.4 percent to P270.1 million following 10 percent growth in revenues from Philippine operations, it added.

“We are very pleased with the continuous growth of our client base and the strong results of our core operations,” COL President and Chief Executive Officer Dino Bate said.

“We are especially pleased with our mutual fund distribution business as we were able to gather more than P200 million in assets under administration in such a short amount of time and despite minimal marketing effort,” Bate added.

“This strengthens our conviction that we have taken the right step by entering into the fund distribution business and that we are better serving the needs of the Filipino investors who we believe deserve a richer life.”

COL’s client base grew by 46 percent to over 152,000. Retail client equity also increased by 8.9 percent to P46 billion, leading to an 8.6-percent climb in commission revenues from Philippine operations to P364 million.

Interest income, meanwhile, rose by 6.6 percent to P162 million.

Its mutual fund distribution business, through COL Fund Source, has already recorded P235.5 million in assets under administration following a July inception.

This accounted for 9.5 percent of industry-wide equity mutual fund net sales during the third quarter of the year, COL said, adding that as of end-September, more than 5,700 clients already had mutual funds in their investment portfolios.

COL has already signed memorandums of agreement with six asset management companies, which account for 98 percent of total assets under management of the domestic mutual funds industry.

Most of the peso-denominated funds of the said companies — Sun Life Asset Management, ATR Kim Eng Asset Management, Philam Asset Management, Philequity, First Metro Asset Management and BPI-led ALFM Family of Funds—are currently available for purchase via COL’s website.

COL expects to achieve higher earnings this year compared to a 13-percent decline in 2014 net income to P262.3 million due to a one-time loss.

COL was the eighth-largest stockbroker in terms of value turnover at the Philippine Stock Exchange last year, up a notch from 2013.

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