SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) — Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) said Tuesday its third-quarter net profit fell 4 percent from a year earlier on increased loan-loss provisions.

Net profit for the three months that ended in September fell to 366.58 billion won (US$326 million) from 381.94 billion won in the same period of last year, the company said in a statement.

“The company has put aside more provisions for non-performing loans amid the coronavirus outbreak in preparation for an economic downturn. It drove down the quarterly result,” a company spokesman said.

Operating profit declined 5 percent to 484.24 billion won in the third quarter from 509.71 billion won a year ago. Sales fell 33 percent to 3.60 trillion won from 5.36 trillion won during the same period.

From January to September, net profit plunged 13 percent to 1.19 trillion won from 1.37 trillion won in the year-ago period.

Operating profit declined 14 percent on-year to 1.57 trillion won in the first nine months from 1.83 trillion won. Sales were down 0.5 percent to 15.46 trillion won from 15.54 trillion won.

The outstanding value of loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) jumped by 19.9 trillion won, or 12 percent, from the end of December to 182.6 trillion won at end-September, the statement said.

IBK accounted for 23 percent of the overall loans extended by local institutions to SMEs during the same period, it said.