apoBank: EUR 113 million balance sheet profit for 2007


Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank (apoBank) will publish its preliminary results for the 2007 financial year in Düsseldorf today, comprising the most important key figures from the balance sheet as well as from the profit and loss account. With the EUR 113.4 (2006: 113.3) million being forecast, the balance sheet profit of the largest cooperative bank again reached the record level seen in 2006, the most successful year to date. This enables the Bank to add EUR 65.5 million to general reserves (2006: EUR 65.0 million) and to pay out a relatively high, unchanged dividend of 6 % to the more than 100,000 members of the Bank.

The operating result before risk provisioning increased by 7.7 % to EUR 314 (2006: 291.6) million. This was primarily due to the traditional retail business; in particular, new lending remained at a high level. Net interest income came to EUR 507 (2006: 491.9) million, a gratifying 3 % up on the previous year's figure. Especially positive was the development of net commission income in 2007. The increase of about 20 % to EUR 171 (2006: 142) million was not least attributable to the traditional securities business with private customers. Thus, the non-interest business is increasingly becoming the Bank's second important earnings pillar.

Administrative expenses rose by 6 % to EUR 378 (2006: 357.8) million. This increase results, in particular, from operating expenses, above all from efficiency improvement projects. These include the implementation of MiFID, the preparation for consolidated financial statements according to IFRS (which are to be drawn up in 2008 for the first time), the migration of securities operations to a new, more efficient system, as well as various strategic projects. Irrespective of this, apoBank's cost/income ratio of 55.4 % is about 0.4 percentage points better than previous year's figure and much better than the industry average.

The risk development in the private customer portfolio, which accounts for about 60 % of the total portfolio, was positive despite strict assessment according to Basel II: In the traditional customer loan business, there are value adjustment requirements of about EUR 50 million, while the Bank's loan portfolio amounts to more than EUR 22 billion.

In the financial instruments portfolio, risk provisioning was increased by about EUR 132 million using the strict lower of cost or market principle. In addition, a write-down in the amount of EUR 42 million was taken on a structured financial market product in fixed assets. Due to the good performance of the operational business and the considerable reserves built up in the last years, apoBank can handle the risk provisions well.

At the end of 2007, the balance sheet total was up by 13 percent to about EUR 37 (2006: 32.95) billion. This reflects both the gratifying expansion of the retail business and restructuring measures in connection with the financial crisis. In 2007 alone, the Bank attracted 8,600 new customers, thereby increasing its customer base to 306,600.

Günter Preuß, Spokesman of the Board of Directors of apoBank: "Given the difficult environment, we are satisfied with the acceptable and even respectable result of the year 2007. We are only affected to a certain extent by the subprime crisis; we have made extensive provisions for all discernible risks according to conservative standards. Despite all concerns about the further development of the markets, particularly in view of higher refinancing costs, we remain confident about the future of our Bank. This is also due to the fact that apoBank is able to issue mortgage bonds since January 1, 2008, and has thus obtained better refinancing conditions. In the current year, the Bank will continue its long-term positive trend and successfully strengthen its number one position as the leading financial services provider to the medical professions, which will also lead to a further increase in the number of our employees."