apoBank: Euro 60 million accounting profit for 2008
- Dividend at the previous year's level of 6 percent
- Operating result at Euro 316 million slightly higher than last year
- Extensive risk provisioning in the amount of Euro 244 million
- Liquidity and capital position remains comfortable
- Market position as bank in the health care sector has been strengthened; the course has been set for the future
Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank (apoBank) has published its preliminary results for the financial year 2008 in Düsseldorf today.
Despite the ongoing financial crisis and the associated extremely difficult conditions, the largest primary cooperative bank has been able to post a positive accounting profit of Euro 60 million (2007: Euro 113 million). This enables the Bank to pay out an unchanged high dividend of 6 % to its more than 100,000 members and to add Euro 12 million (2007: Euro 66 million) to the general reserves.
In an increasingly competitive environment, apoBank has further strengthened its position as bank in the health care sector. Apart from growing business volumes, this is also reflected in an increase in the number of customers by around 12,500 to 319,100.
At Euro 316 million, the profit before risk provisioning was slightly higher than in the previous year (2007: Euro 314 million). Thus, with the operating result the Bank has seamlessly tied in with the successful year 2007.
This success is mainly attributable to net interest income, which increased by another 13 % compared to the previous year to Euro 571 million (2007: Euro 507 million). This gratifying result was due to the good sales performance in the lending and deposit business as well as to positive contributions from the strategic interest rate risk management.
At Euro 136 million (2007: Euro 171 million), net commission income was below last year's record result, as expected. This is mainly due to the negative developments in the stock markets and to changes in investors' behaviour.
Despite the business expansion and ongoing strategic and regulatory driven projects, administrative expenses increased only slightly by 5 % to Euro 396 million (2007: Euro 378 million).
The cost/income ratio of 56.4 % (2007: 55.4 %) has remained at a good level compared with the industry average.
Net risk provisioning totalled Euro 244 million in the financial year 2008 (2007: Euro 187 million):
- In the traditional customer loan business, risk provisioning showed a satisfactory development with a balance of Euro 37 million (2007: Euro 47 million) - at a loan portfolio of more than Euro 24 billion.
- In contrast, in the course of the continuing financial crisis, apoBank significantly raised its risk provisions for liquid investments and own investments, i.e. the financial instruments portfolio, to Euro 338 million (2007: Euro 189 million). Thus, apoBank has made extensive provisions for all discernible risks.
- These value adjustments are diminished by the positive balance of the other risk provisioning items in the amount of Euro 131 million (2007: Euro 49 million); this balance includes the reversal of provisioning reserves in the amount of Euro 135 million built up in the past.
At the end of the 2008 financial year, the total assets reached around Euro 41 billion (2007: Euro 37 billion), which corresponds to an increase of 11 % compared to the previous year. This development reflects the again gratifying expansion of the customer business as well as the successfully completed restructuring measures in the financial instruments portfolio.
With an equity ratio of 12.8 % and a core capital ratio of 8.7 % (2007: 13.5 % and 8.6 %, respectively), apoBank continues to enjoy a solid capital position.
The Bank also has a comfortable liquidity position, which is based on various sources. Customer deposits and publicly funded loans have increasingly become the focus of attention in this context. In addition, apoBank has been able to further diversify its refinancing sources due to the fact that it obtained a license to issue mortgage Pfandbriefe in 2008.
Günter Preuß, Spokesman of the Board of Directors of apoBank:"With its operating earning power, apoBank has successfully defied the crisis and achieved a respectable result. Thus, we remain a reliable and solid partner for our customers and investors. This is a sound basis for the continuous further development of our bank. Our target market - the health care market - is and will remain a growth market. Our bank is the only financial institution that has specialised in this market, where it has unique expertise. We have strong sales power and a robust business model, which is based on our partnership with the players in the German health care sector and which has proved itself especially in the crisis. With the initiated strategic process, we are preparing our Bank for the future. Our aim is to achieve a sustainable position as a "premium brand in the health care sector".
For 2009, we expect a further increase in competition and higher refinancing costs, which will put pressure on operating results and profitability. As regards accounting profit, we are planning to reach the 2008 level in order to be able to pay an unchanged high dividend again."