Woori Financial 2022 net hits new high on more interest income

SEOUL-- Major South Korean financial holding firm Woori Financial Group Inc. said Wednesday its earnings spiked nearly 23 percent on-year to an all-time high in 2022 thanks largely to higher interest income.

Net income came to 3.17 trillion won (US$2.52 billion) last year, up 22.5 percent from a year earlier, the financial group said in a regulatory filing.

Woori Financial Group attributed the robust 2022 profit to a sharp rise in interest income amid South Korea's monetary tightening to curb inflation.

The group's interest income stod at 8.69 trillion won in 2022, up 24.5 percent from the previous year.

Its net interest margin, or the difference between interest paid and interest received, stood at 1.84 percent in 2022, up from 1.62 percent a year earlier.

In January, the Bank of Korea raised the benchmark seven-day repo rate from 3.25 percent to 3.5 percent, the seventh straight rate increase since April last year and the highest level since 2008.

Woori Financial said its non-interest income shrank 15.4 percent on-year to 1.15 trillion won last year.

Flagship Woori Bank registered a net profit of 2.92 trillion won last year, with credit card unit Woori Card posting a net income of 204.4 billion won.

Woori Financial Group said its asset soundness was high despite rising interest rates and worries about an economic slowdown at home and abroad.

The group's ratio of nonperforming loans had reached 0.31 percent as of the end of December, down 0.1 point from a year earlier, with its loan delinquency rate edging up to 0.26 percent from 0.21 percent.

Woori Financial Group said it will pay a cash dividend of 1,130 won per share for fiscal 2022.

Shares in Woori Financial Group closed up 4.07 percent at 12,800 won on the Seoul bourse Wednesday, far outperforming the benchmark KOSPI's 1.3 percent rise. The earnings report was announced before the closing bell.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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