Interim Report for ForeningsSparbanken (Swedbank), Q1 2002; Operating Profit Amounted to SEK 1,952 M (with link)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 26, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- ForeningsSparbanken:

First quarter 2002 in brief:

 -    Operating profit amounted to SEK 1,952 M (2,007)

 -    Profit before loan losses increased to SEK 2,408 M (2 377)

 -    The return on equity amounted to 13.5 percent (15.8)

 -    Earnings per share amounted to SEK 2.34 (2.57)

 -    Net interest amounted to SEK 3,825 M (3,796)

 -    Net commission income decreased to SEK 1,477 M (1,519)

 -    Loan losses amounted to SEK 435 M (350)

 -    Robur's share of net mutual fund contributions amounted to 17.6
      percent (17.5)

 -    Positive trend in household deposits in Sweden

 -    ForeningsSparbanken Privat now established in 15 locations

 -    Expanded ownership in Hansabank and FI-Holding

Group profit

The Group's operating profit for the first quarter of 2002 amounted to SEK 1,952 M (2,007). Profit was affected positively by higher lending and deposit volumes and commission income from payment operations, while stock market-related income declined.

The return on equity during the quarter was 13.5 percent (15.8). Earnings per share amounted to SEK 2.34 (2.57). The loan loss level was 0.25 percent (0.22). Income The Group's total income rose slightly compared with the first quarter 2001 to SEK 5,871 M (5,855). Net interest income, net profit on financial operations and other income rose slightly, while net commission income declined. Net interest income The Group's net interest income rose during the first quarter by SEK 29 M or 1 percent to SEK 3,825 M (3,796). Higher lending volumes in FI- Holding and Hansabank affected net interest income positively by SEK 144 M, while growth in Spintab's mortgage lending also contributed. Net interest income in the first quarter of 2001 included the repayment of loan insurance fees of approximately SEK 100 M. There is no corresponding income this year.

Net interest income from deposits in the Swedish branch operations was affected positively by SEK 50 M through volume growth, while lower deposit margins affected net interest income negatively by approximately SEK 150 M.

Compared with the previous quarter, net interest income was largely unchanged. Dividends received During the first quarter dividends received amounted to SEK 13 M (70). The decrease is due to, among other things, a lower dividend from OM in 2002 as well as a time lag between quarters. Net commission income Net commission income for the first three months of 2002 amounted to SEK 1,477 M (1,519). Due to lower market volume and declining stock prices, brokerage commissions fell by SEK 56 M and asset management commissions by SEK 34 M. Net commission income from payment services continued to develop strongly, rising by SEK 61 M.

Compared with the previous quarter, net commission income was largely unchanged. Net profit on financial operations Net profit on financial operations amounted to SEK 243 M (224). Profit on stock trading declined by SEK 27 M, while profit from trading in fixed income securities and other financial instruments rose by SEK 35 M. Income from foreign exchange operations rose marginally.

Compared with the previous quarter, income from foreign exchange operations rose by slightly over SEK 80 M.

Other income

Other income amounted to SEK 313 M (246) during the quarter. The 2002 figure included a capital gain of SEK 85 M on the sale of the branch operations in Gallivare to Sparbanken Nord.


Expenses for the first quarter of 2002 declined slightly, to SEK 3,463 M (3,478). Expenses in the Swedish operations declined by 7 percent or by SEK 208 M, from SEK 3,100 M to SEK 2,892 M.

Staff costs

Staff costs for the quarter amounted to SEK 1,752 M (1,597). The increase is mainly due to Hansabank's acquisition of the Lithuanian bank LTB. Staff costs were charged with SEK 124 M (113) for the Group's profit-sharing fund.

Change in the number of employees

Number of Group employees in terms of full-time positions.

                                 Mar 31     Dec 31   Dec 31
                                   2002       2001     2000
 Total number of employees       15,786     16,068   13,002

 Of whom Hansabank*               6,159      6,387    3,180

 (*) The increase in Hansapank is mainly due to the acquisition of
     LTB during the second quarter of 2001, which added slightly over
     3,000 employees.

IT expenses

IT expenses include all development and production expenditures as well as computer equipment service costs and depreciation. IT expenses for the first quarter of 2002, after deducting IT-related income from partly owned banks and independent savings banks, amounted to SEK 636 M. Defined the same way, the corresponding expense last year was SEK 690 M. The corresponding expense in the Swedish operations was SEK 566 M (645).

Other expenses

Other expenses amounted to SEK 1,711 M (1,881) during the quarter. The decrease is mainly due lower expenses for IT development and marketing.

Loan losses

The loan loss level was 0.25 percent (0.22) during the first quarter. Loan losses amounted to SEK 435 M (350), of which FI-Holding and Hansapank accounted for SEK 31 M (54). Of the loan losses, SEK 339 M (225) related to collective provisions for claims assessed individually. A specification of loan losses and claims is provided in Notes 3 and 4.

Share of profit/loss of associated companies

The share of profit/loss of associated companies includes the profit/loss from companies consolidated according to the equity method, i.e. companies in which ForeningsSparbanken holds between 20 and 50 percent of the voting rights of the shares. The share of profit/loss of associated companies for the first quarter of 2002 was SEK -21 M (- 20). The share of SpareBank 1 Gruppen's loss was SEK - 32 M (- 46). The corresponding shared loss from Marakanda was SEK - 30 M (- 35), including goodwill amortization of SEK 21 M.

Tax expense 29 percent

Consolidated profit before tax amounted to SEK 1,936 M (2,006), while the tax expense for 2001 was SEK 559 M (505), or an effective tax rate of 29 percent (25). The increased tax rate was due to the fact that tax- exempt income was higher during the first quarter of the previous year and that tax on Hansabank's dividends were charged.

Interest rate risk

An increase in market interest rates of one percentage point as of March 31, 2002 would have reduced the value of the Group's interest-bearing assets and liabilities, including derivatives, by approximately SEK 854 M (913). The decrease in value for positions in SEK would have amounted to SEK 591 M (533) and for positions in foreign currency SEK 263 M (380). The Group's interest rate risk in foreign currency is primarily in the foreign subsidiaries Hansapank and FI-Holding.

An interest rate increase of one percentage point would have reduced the Group's net profit on financial operations by SEK 242 M (402) as of March 31, 2002.

The Group also holds positions in inflation-indexed instruments denominated in SEK, which a one-percent increase in real interest rates would have reduced in value by SEK 6 M (36) as of March 31, 2002, of which SEK 6 M (13) would affect reported net profit on financial operations.

Comparative figures refer to December 31, 2001.

Capital adequacy

The capital adequacy ratio, which is calculated for the financial companies group, amounted to 11.1 percent (11.3) on March 31, 2002, of which the primary capital ratio was 7.1 percent (7.1). Market risks as a share of the total capital adequacy ratio amounted to 0.5 percentage points (0.7).

The risk-weighted amount for credit risks rose during the quarter to SEK 519 billion (515). The increase is primarily attributable to higher lending by Spintab and the Bank.

The risk-weighted amount for market risks declined by nearly SEK 7 billion during the quarter to approximately SEK 26 billion. The decrease in the risk-weighted amount for market risks was mainly due to a change in maturity structure and a smaller holding of interest-bearing securities in FI-Holding as well as the lower market value of foreign exchange-related derivatives in Swedbank Markets owing to a stronger Swedish krona.

 Specification of capital

                                  Mar 31  Dec 31   Mar 31
 SEK M                              2002    2001     2001

 Primary capital                  38,754  38,938   35,216
 Supplementary capital            26,013  26,813   24,695
 Less shares, etc.                -5,223 - 5,300  - 5,160
 Expanded portion of capital       1,262   1,292      912
 Capital base                     60,806  61,743   55,663
 Risk-weighted amount for        519,460 514,743  506,261
  credit risks
 Risk-weighted amount for         26,310  33,054   26,519
  market risks
 Total risk-weighted amount      545,770 547,797  532,780
 Capital adequacy ratio, %          11.1    11.3     10.4
 Primary capital ratio, %            7.1     7.1      6.6

As of March 31, 2002 the ForeningsSparbanken financial companies group included the ForeningsSparbanken Group, Eskilstuna Rekarne Sparbank AB, Fars och Frosta Sparbank AB, ForeningsSparbanken Sjuharad AB, ForeningsSparbanken Soderhamn AB, Bergslagens Sparbank AB, Vimmerby Sparbank AB, Aktia Sparbank Abp in Finland and Sparebank 1 Gruppen in Norway. The Group's insurance companies are not included.

Financial information 2002

The Group's financial reports can be obtained or ordered on ForeningsSparbanken's home page at http://www. or at the nearest branch of ForeningsSparbanken.

ForeningsSparbanken will publish financial information on the following dates in 2002:

 Interim report January - June 2002    August 23
 Interim report January - September    October 25 2002

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