COL Financial Philippines, Inc., the country’s top online broker, reported a flat net profit of P303.6 million last year due to the normalization of its effective tax rate from 9.8 percent in 2012 to 21.3 percent in 2013. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said its consolidated operating profits grew 13.8 percent to P386.0 million.
Growth was driven by the 13.8 percent jump in revenues to P741.0 million which, in turn, was a result of the 16.7 percent increase in commission revenues to P540.5 million and the 7.9 percent improvement in interest income to P198.7 million.
Operating profits from Philippine operations grew by 17.2 percent to an all-time high of P368.9 million last year, exceeding the previous record of P320.5 million earned in 2011.
“We are pleased to announce another record earnings result for 2013. More importantly, we are glad to see the continuous expansion of our client base and their investments in the Philippine Stock Exchange. At COL, we believe that our profitability is only a consequence of our client’s success,” said COL president Dino Bate.
The growing popularity of investments in the Philippine stock market brought about by falling interest rates and the accelerating growth of the COL’s client base were largely responsible for the company’s record performance.
Despite the volatility of the stock market, value turnover in the Philippine Stock Exchange soared by 43.8 percent during the year, led by the 64.6 percent increase in value turnover of foreign investors.