Frankfurt am Main – Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen generated a consolidated net profit before tax of EUR 349 million in the first three quarters of 2019. This was slightly below the previous year's result in the same period of EUR 364 million. After tax, the consolidated net profit rose by EUR 17 million to EUR 272 million (9M 2018: EUR 255 million).
"Despite intense competition and a challenging environment, we successfully maintained our position in the market and are satisfied with the development of our operating business. This enabled us to raise the volume of new business as well as net interest income and net fee and commission income compared with the same period last year. These figures reflect the fact that we are well positioned in our core business lines and confirm our successful business model," said Herbert Hans Grüntker, Chairman of Helaba's Board of Managing Directors, in summing up the bank's activities in the first nine months of the year. On the implementation of the strategic agenda, he added: "We are making good and rapid progress with the initiatives we have launched. The aim of our growth through effi-ciency project - Scope - is to stem the rise in costs while, at the same time, exploiting the resulting room for manoeuvre to systematically implement our growth initiatives. We are working on the as-sumption that we will conclude a reconciliation of interests on the results of Project Scope before the end of this year, which will thus be reflected in our full-year results for 2019. Despite these charges, we expect to generate a profit before tax at the same level as last year."
Net interest income grew by EUR 65 million to EUR 850 million (9M 2018: EUR 785 million). Provi-sions for losses on loans and advances increased to EUR -57 million (9M 2018: EUR 29 million). The quality of Helaba's portfolio remains high. The increase reflects the general deterioration in the eco-nomic environment and returns risk provisioning to a normal level. Net fee and commission income rose by EUR 28 million to EUR 287 million (9M 2018: EUR 259 million).
Net income from fair value measurement, which comprises net trading income and net income from hedge accounting and other financial instruments measured at fair value, was adversely impacted by valuation effects, particularly in the third quarter, as a result of the sharp fall in interest rates. As a consequence, it fell by EUR 81 million to EUR 18 million (9M 2018: EUR 99 million).
Other net income improved by EUR 105 million to EUR 348 million (9M 2018: EUR 243 million), pri-marily due to special effects from the first-time consolidation of KOFIBA. General and administra-tive expenses rose to EUR 1,117 million (9M 2018: EUR 1,057 million), which primarily reflects signifi-cantly higher operating expenses in connection with the implementation of regulatory and business-drive requirements.
In the first nine months of 2019, the Helaba Group's balance sheet total increased by EUR 58.6 billion to EUR 221.6 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 163.0 billion). This main reason for this was the consol-idation of KOFIBA as well as an increase in customer deposits and loans. Since the beginning of the year, business volume had increased by EUR 59.9 billion to EUR 260.8 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 200.9 billion) and loans and advances to customers to EUR 121.1 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 101.9 billion). At EUR 14.6 billion, the volume of new medium and long-term business - exclud-ing WIBank's competitively neutral promotional business - was significantly higher after the first three quarters than in the same period last year (EUR 12.6 billion).
The CET1 ratio amounted to 13.8 percent as of 30 September 2019. Return on equity (before tax) stood at 5.5 percent and the cost/income ratio at 73.3 percent.