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NATWEST BANCORP TURNAROUND CONTINUES; POSTS $39.4 MILLION PROFIT IN THIRD QUARTER

 NATWEST BANCORP TURNAROUND CONTINUES;
 POSTS $39.4 MILLION PROFIT IN THIRD QUARTER
 NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- National Westminster Bancorp ("NatWest Bancorp") today reported net income of $39.4 million in the third quarter of 1992 compared with a loss of $65.7 million in the third quarter of 1991. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992, net income was $105.5 million compared with a loss of $341.7 million for the corresponding 1991 period.
 Commenting on the results, John Tugwell, chairman and chief executive, said, "We continue to be encouraged by the consistently improving performance and the underlying strength of our core business. We have introduced new products to diversify revenue streams and have effectively maintained tight control over operating expenses. These efforts have enabled us to achieve growth in net income despite the difficult regional economy and lack of loan demand."
 Return on average equity for the quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992, was 8.74 percent and 8.02 percent, respectively, due in part to the low effective tax rate. Net income before goodwill amortization totaled $48.7 million for the quarter and $133.3 million for the first nine months of 1992, which equates to a return on average tangible equity of 16.24 percent for the quarter and 15.52 percent year- to-date.
 "With a pick-up in business activity, I am confident that we can develop a strong and profitable business in the United States over the long term," said Mr. Tugwell.
 The quarter and nine months benefited from growth in non-interest income, containment of operating expenses, and improvement in net interest income.
 Provisions for loan losses were $30.5 million and $91.5 million for the three months and nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992, respectively, down from the very high levels of $123.1 million and $479.7 million in the comparable 1991 periods. Net charge-offs totaled $48.3 million in the third quarter and $141.4 million for the nine month period, again substantially down from $78.6 million and $332.4 million, respectively, in 1991. NatWest Bancorp's allowance for loan losses was $639.7 million, or 4.54 percent of total loans outstanding at Sept. 30, 1992, compared with $676.4 million, or 4.62 percent at Sept. 30, 1991.
 Non-accrual loans totaled $1,127.6 million at Sept. 30, 1992, down from $1,153.9 million at Dec. 31, 1991, and $1,304.5 million at Sept. 30, 1991. Non-accrual loans amounted to 8.00 percent of total loans at Sept. 30, 1992, down from 8.92 percent at Sept. 30, 1991. Foreclosed assets (including other real estate owned) amounted to $288.7 million at Sept. 30, 1992, compared with $354.4 million at Dec. 31, 1991, and $380.2 million a year ago.
 Net interest income for the quarter was $183.6 million, up from $180.4 million in the 1991 period. Year-to-date net interest income was $546.9 million, up from $525.8 million in 1991. Wider interest rate spreads have benefited net interest income throughout 1992. Additionally, interest lost on non-accrual loans and foreclosed assets (net of interest income recognized) declined to $78.9 million in 1992 from $117.2 million for the first nine months of 1991. Partially offsetting these factors was the impact of a decline in loan volume, reflecting both the recession and efforts to manage down the size of the relatively higher risk sectors of NatWest Bancorp's portfolio.
 Net interest income, on a tax-equivalent basis, as a percentage of average interest earning assets (net interest margin), was 3.71 percent in the third quarter and 3.75 percent for the first nine months of 1992 compared with 3.79 percent and 3.67 percent in the respective 1991 periods.
 Non-interest income totaled $86.4 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, 1992, an increase of $4.8 million from the 1991 period. For the first nine months, non-interest income was $242.1 million, up from $202.3 million in 1991. The 1992 and 1991 nine month figures included gains of $31.9 million and $17.5 million, respectively, on the sale of investment portfolio securities.
 Significantly, excluding securities gains, non-interest income increased $9.0 million for the quarter and $25.4 million in the nine month period, due to growth in deposit and loan-related fees as well as income from newly introduced products. The growth of 14 percent in each period reflects successful efforts to develop additional fee-based businesses such as annuity sales and private banking, and represents a foundation for future earnings growth.
 Operating expenses were $197.3 million in the third quarter of 1992, or $7.2 million below the $204.5 million reported in the third quarter of 1991, due to an $8.3 million decline in the cost of maintaining and revaluing foreclosed assets. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, operating expenses declined to $584.5 million, compared with $586.4 million in the 1991 period. Excluding the cost of foreclosed assets, operating expenses were virtually flat in both periods compared with 1991, reflecting tight expense control, as well as the continued benefits derived from the consolidation of operations and staff functions, which have yielded a 6 percent reduction in personnel in the past year.
 The provision for income taxes was $17.2 million in the third quarter of 1992, compared with $98.0 thousand in the third quarter of 1991. For the nine months, the provision was $50.8 million in 1992, compared with $3.6 million in 1991. With the improved earnings, however, NatWest Bancorp was able to record an extraordinary tax credit of $14.5 million and $43.3 million for the quarter and nine months, respectively. This gave recognition to a portion of previously unrecorded Federal tax benefits on losses incurred in earlier periods. These benefits could not be recognized until NatWest Bancorp had achieved sufficient taxable income to realize them.
 Equity capital at Sept. 30, 1992, was $1,811.2 million. Risk-based capital ratios were strong, with a Tier 1 ratio of 7.05 percent and total capital ratio of 11.85 percent.
 NatWest Bancorp is a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Westminster Bank Plc, the London-based international banking and financial services organization.
 NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANCORP INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Financial Highlights (dollar amounts in thousands)
 For the quarter ended Sept. 30 1992 1991
 Net interest income $183,576 $180,410
 Provision for loan losses 30,500 123,099
 Non-interest income 86,384 81,626
 Operating expenses:
 Foreclosed assets 13,151 21,437
 Other 184,147 183,097
 Net income (loss) $ 39,442 $(65,695)
 Net interest margin 3.71 pct 3.79 pct
 Return on average equity 8.74 pct
 Return on average tangible equity 16.24 pct
 Return on average assets .71 pct
 For the nine months ended Sept. 30 1992 1991
 Net interest income $546,896 $ 525,760
 Provision for loan losses 91,500 479,674
 Non-interest income 242,120 202,263
 Operating expenses:
 Foreclosed assets 38,177 40,244
 Other 546,347 546,153
 Net income (loss) $105,543 $(341,677)
 Net interest margin 3.75 pct 3.67 pct
 Return on average equity 8.02 pct
 Return on average tangible equity 15.52 pct
 Return on average assets .65 pct
 At Sept. 30 1992 1991
 Total assets $22,286,213 $21,560,611
 Total loans 14,097,296 14,630,435
 Total core deposits 13,494,679 13,087,213
 Total equity capital 1,811,209 1,732,263
 Allowance for loan losses as a
 percentage of total loans 4.54 pct 4.62 pct
 Non-accrual loans as a percentage
 of total loans 8.00 pct 8.92 pct
 Capital ratios:
 Risk-based capital ratios
 (per 1992 rules):
 Tier 1 7.05 pct 6.18 pct
 Total 11.85 pct 10.56 pct
 Leverage ratio 5.66 pct 5.24 pct
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Cameris, 212-602-2505, or Tim Connolly, 201-547-7533, both of NatWest Bancorp/
 (NW) CO: National Westminster Bancorp ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ERN


GK-TK -- NY001 -- 8237 10/09/92 09:35 EDT
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Date:Oct 9, 1992
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