Arion Bank reported net earnings of ISK 2.9 billion for the first three months of 2014, compared with ISK 1.4 billion for the same period in 2013. Return on equity was 7.8%, compared with 4.3% in the same period of 2013. Return on equity based on core operations was 5.9%, compared with 7.6% in the same period of 2013. Total assets amounted to ISK 933.1 billion, compared with ISK 938.9 billion at the end of 2013.
The Bank’s capital ratio at the end of the period was 22.5%, compared with 23.6% at the end of 2013.
Highlights of the Interim Financial Statements:
Höskuldur H. Ólafsson, CEO of Arion Bank:
“Arion Bank’s first quarter results are satisfactory. Net earnings increased compared with the same period in 2013, despite increased taxation, and return on equity was 7.8%. However, the Bank’s income decreased, primarily as a result of the lower net interest margin as inflation was lower in the first quarter than during the same period last year. Furthermore, the market conditions have led to a reduction in the value of the Bank's assets in securities and foreign currency. We are satisfied with the growth in commission income compared with last year following targeted efforts to consolidate the Bank’s sources of commission income. The increase is primarily generated by asset management and payment card transactions. Over the last year the Bank has also made good progress in reducing operating expenses, while the number of employees has also decreased between periods.
An important milestone was reached at the beginning of the year when Standard & Poor's assigned Arion Bank a credit rating of BB+, the first Icelandic bank to be rated by S&P since the financial crisis. A credit rating from an international agency will facilitate our access to the international credit markets. Arion Bank is, however, fully funded and has no refunding requirements in the next few years. Nevertheless, when the market conditions are right, we will seek to secure credit with the aim of improving the quality of the Bank's funding and reducing funding costs.”
Conference call in English:
Arion Bank will be hosting a conference call in English tomorrow, Thursday 22 May at 13:00 GMT (15:00 CET), where Stefán Pétursson, CFO, will present the annual results.
Those who would like to participate in the conference call can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and will then receive instructions with dial in details.
For further information please contact Haraldur Gudni Eidsson, head of Arion Bank's Corporate Communications, at email@example.com, or tel. +354 856 7108.
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