GL Q2 Profits Hit New High

15 Aug 2017

SET-listed digital finance firm Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL) has reported a 337.69 million baht net profit in the second quarter this year, up 31.70% from the same period last year, representing the 11th consecutive quarter of new record-high profits.

“The Q2/2017 profits have resulted from steady improvements in all the markets in which we operate,” stated Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, chairman of GL’s executive committee. GL’s corporate footprint now covers a total of seven Asian markets, including its home base in Thailand, neighboring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

In an official filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) today (August 15), GL said its consolidated hire purchase interest income stood at 525.89 million baht, up 33.61 million baht or 6.83% from the same period last year, due mainly to increases in interest income from its subsidiaries in Cambodia and Laos by 14.86 million baht and 13.18 million baht respectively.

The Thailand-based operations, particularly by GL’s subsidiary Thanabun, have also seen significant improvement. Interest income from assets-backed loans (where borrowers pledge their motorcycles as collateral) rose 12.41 million baht or 46% to 39.37 million baht. The bulk of this increase or 12.02 million baht was accounted for by Thanabun while the remaining small portion of 0.39 million baht came from GL’s Cambodian subsidiary which just launched this new product in Q2/2017.

The filing pointed to Micro-finance as a successful new product launched by GL’s subsidiary in Myanmar which for the first time generated interest income of 6.22 million baht in Q2/2017. This new product consists of an average 50-week micro loans made to women in groups of five members each collectively responsible for each other’s repayment on a weekly basis. The micro loans were considered very successful because they carried 0% NPL.

Another highlight of the Q2/2017 results was 12.18 million baht worth of “consumer finance interest income” derived from GL’s joint venture with its strategic partner JTrust Asia (JTA) in Indonesia.

Established last year, the multi-finance joint venture, PT Group Lease Finance Indonesia (GLFI) is a fees-based operation engaged in marketing, credit screening and collecting loan claims targeting agriculture-related equipments and motorcycles while the financing is provided by PT Bank JTrust Indonesia, a banking subsidiary of GL’s strategic partner the J Trust Co. which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

While GL considers Myanmar as a high-growth market, Indonesia is seen as carrying even more substantial growth potentials because of its huge population of more than 250 million. J Trust Co. President & CEO Nobuyoshi Fujisawa stated recently that the Indonesian joint venture will grow to become GL’s largest portfolio and biggest profits contributor over the next 2-3 years.

Meanwhile, interest on loans to SME borrowers in Singapore and Cyprus in Q2/2017 totaled 125.99 million baht, up 8.88% from the same period last year.

GL booked a 36.73 million baht profit share from its 29.99% investment in Commercial Credit & Finance (CCF) in Sri Lanka in this quarter, which marks a drop of 24% from the previous quarter, largely because of a two-week national holidays in April in that country during which interests on loans to CCF’s clients were exempted.

According to Mr. Konoshita, the latest record-high profits were achieved in spite of higher administrative expenses and legal fees that were incurred because of GL’s aggressive overseas expansion in this quarter. These expenses totaled 271.89 million baht in this quarter, or 25.12% increase from the same period last year.

“However, the service and administrative expenses grew at a slower rate than revenue, reflecting cost-effective management,” the SET filing stated.

Operations in Cambodia and Thailand still constituted GL’s main businesses, accounting for 49.3% and 45.3% shares respectively of its total outstanding portfolio of 10,246 million baht while Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia accounted for 3.7%, 1.1% and 0.7% respectively.