According to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
Strong increase in Net Profits by 33.0% (€47.7m)
Remarkable growth in Household Lending by 40.7%
Effective Cost Containment policy, stable operating expenses (0.03% - €121.9m)
Coverage Ratio continues to be at satisfactory levels (85.4%)
Sustained Capital Adequacy with Tier 1 ratio at 13.5%
ATEbank has achieved significant growth in profitability in the first quarter of 2006 as consolidated profits after tax and minority interest increased by 33.0% reaching the level of €47.7million versus €35.9million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Net interest income reached €140.1 million, a 4.7% increase on a recurrent basis (excluding non-recurring interest income of around €30 million during the first quarter of 2005 due to loan restructuring under the law 3259/04 on "Panotokia"). The Net Interest Margin (net interest income over average interest earning assets) as of 31 March 2006 stood at 3.09%, compared to 3.04% at the end of 2005 and 3.17%, on a recurrent basis, at the end of March 2005.
Net fee and commission income showed a significant increase of 23.2% compared to the corresponding period in 2005 reaching the level of €18.1 million, mainly due to the increase in fees and commissions of loans and money transfers. Other non-interest income reached €38.3 million, showing a decrease of 6.7% versus the corresponding period in the previous year, mainly due to the reduced turnover of the subsidiary Hellenic Sugar Company, following the recent EU decisions regarding sugar production.
As a result, operating income reached €196.5 million, an increase on a recurrent basis of 3.7%, while on a reported basis it showed a decrease of 10.5% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
On the other hand, operating expenses remained almost stable, as they increased by just 0.03% compared to the corresponding period in 2005, reaching €121.9 million. This trend, which appears for a fifth continuous quarter, reflects the effectiveness of the cost containment policy that is being implemented throughout the ATEbank Group of companies. As a result, the Group cost income ratio was reduced, on a recurrent basis, to 62.0% in the first three months of the year, compared to 64.3% in the same period of 2005.
Total loans at the end of March 2006 reached €13.4 billion, an increase of 9.2% compared to end of March 2005. It should be noted that if adjusted for the 467 million loan write-offs under the "Panotokia law" during the period April 2005 to March 2006, the underlying expansion of the loan book would be 13.0%.
The household loan portfolio as of 31 March 2006 increased by 40.7% compared to 31 March 2005 reaching €3.9 billion. The combination of new retail products combined with aggressive marketing campaigns that continued in 2006 have resulted in a remarkable increase in new disbursements. Average monthly mortgage lending new disbursements have gone up in the first quarter of 2006 by 240% compared to first quarter of 2005 and by 54% compared to the average of 2005. Consumer lending also shows a significant increase since the introduction of two new products in March, raising the average monthly new disbursements in the first quarter of 2006 by 26% compared to the first quarter of 2005 and 19% compared to the average of 2005. The strategy of the bank is to continue its focus on household lending and to launch new products for the SMEs sector as well.
Total NPL ratio dropped from 19.9% in 31 March 2005 to 15.0% in 31 March 2006, while the provisioning coverage ratio, despite the €467 million of write-offs, remained at the satisfactory level of 85.4%.
Impairment losses on loans amounted to €15.2 million in the first three months of 2006, compared to €41.7 million in the corresponding period of 2005. However, it should be noted that around €30.0 million of the provisions in the first quarter of 2005 were due to the restructuring of loans under the "Panotokia law".
Customer deposits increased by 5.8% compared to 31 March 2005 reaching €17.5 billion, resulting in a loans to deposits ratio of 76.6% compared to 74.2% in the corresponding period in 2005. This ratio together with the comparatively low average cost of deposits (1.25%) constitute significant advantages which the bank intends to utilize, in order to foster growth and gain market share.
Annualised EPS in the first three months of 2006 was €0.19. Based on the net profit for the period, the Return on average Assets stood at 0.92%, while the Return on average Equity was 15.5%.
ATEbank sustains a robust capital adequacy. At the end of March 2006, the estimated Total BIS Ratio stood at 14.0% and the Tier I Ratio at 13.5%.
The turnaround of almost all of the companies in the ATEbank Group into profitability and the sustainability of the Bank's profits are the result of an intensive effort that is being made throughout the Group at an operational and organizational level.
ATEbank's management is constantly examining ways to improve customer services, raise employees' productivity and improve shareholders' return.