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BCB sees jump in first-quarter profit

Bermuda National today posted a first-quarter profit of some $3 million on “strong operating performance” of its major subsidiary Bermuda Commercial Bank.

BNL, a financial services investment holding company, also announced that it was “currently in exclusive discussions to acquire a financial services business in the UK and will update shareholders at the appropriate time”.

BCB saw a more than fivefold increase in profit, to $4.4 million for the December 31, 2012 quarter compared with $0.8 million for the period ended December 31, 2011. BCB's total revenues for the period were $9.1 million compared to $4.0 million in the prior year period.

BNL said BCB saw continued customer deposit growth during the three months ended December 31.

And it said the Bank's capital position improved following gains in the market value of its financial Investments portfolio and both capital ratios and liquidity levels remain solid.

The quarter was BNL's first as a public company, following the restructuring of BCB, which completed on October 1, 2012.

In a statement BNL said shareholders' equity was approximately $133.8 million. It said BCB “continues to grow its assets whilst maintaining a highly liquid balance sheet and a strong capital ratio”.

BNL said Westhouse Holdings plc has taken measures to reduce costs as a result of poor trading conditions and the Company's other investments continue to perform in line with expectations.

BNL said it also completed private placing with Utilico Investments Limited to raise approximately $15 million and the acquisition of Utilico's interest in Ascot Lloyd Holdings Limited, a UK independent financial adviser.

Other highlights included post-quarter end, issue of bonus warrants to qualifying shareholders on a one for three basis with an exercise price of $12.00 per share, to provide the company with a flexible funding structure to be used in future corporate investments and acquisitions.

Commenting on the results, BNL chairman Warren McLeland said: “BNL's first quarter results highlight the strong performance at the Company's main subsidiary, BCB.

“BCB continues to improve on all its key metrics and we continue to see the benefits of BCB operating a highly liquid balance sheet with its assets invested in a combination of cash and a diversified bond portfolio. The completion of the private placing with Utilico and the recent bonus warrant issue gives the Company additional funding in order to move ahead with its stated strategy to make corporate investments and acquisitions in the financial services sector.“

The Company said it intends to pay dividends to shareholders on a semi annual basis.

Profits jump: Bermuda Commercial Bank building on Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton.

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Published February 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Updated February 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm)

BCB sees jump in first-quarter profit

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