#Press release


Helaba satisfied with performance in 2019

Helaba satisfied with performance in 2019
  • Consoli­dated net profit before tax of EUR 533 million signifi­cantly above previous year
  • Positive special effect from first-time consoli­dation of KOFIBA 
  • Volume of new business rises once again
  • Noticeable rise in net interest income and net fee and com­mission income
  • Increased general and adminis­trative expenses have negative impact
  • Project Scope - Growth through Efficiency - success­fully imple­men­ted
  • CET-1 ratio of 14.2 percent still comfor­tably above regu­latory re­quirements
  • Implications of corona­virus pandemic make it impos­sible to pro­vide forecast for 2020 at present time

Helaba achieved a consolidat­ed net profit before tax under IFRS of EUR 533 million in the 2019 financial year. The bank's result was therefore EUR 90 million higher than the previous year's net profit of EUR 443 million. After tax, the con­soli­dated net profit rose by EUR 202 million to EUR 480 million (previous year: EUR 278 million).

"Against a backdrop of contin­ued fierce com­petition and a persis­tently challeng­ing business envir­on­ment, we are satis­fied with the past financial year. While the acqui­sition of KOFIBA, formerly Dexia Kom­munal­bank Deutsch­land, had a clearly positive effect on our balance sheet, expenses in conjunction with our Scope efficiency programme, which were recog­nised in the annual finan­cial state­ments, had a parti­cularly negative impact. The develop­ment in our customer business is especially encourag­ing. Once again, we succeeded in increasing our volume of new business. Both net interest income and net fee and com­mission income saw marked improve­ments. This reflects the fact that we were able to achieve extremely positive results from our oper­ating customer business, particularly due to a strong performance in the fourth quarter, while at the same time success­fully imple­menting and finalising impor­tant strategic projects such as the inte­gration of the former KOFIBA and the acqui­sition of DVB Bank SE's Land Transport Finance customer loan portfolio," said Herbert Hans Grüntker, Chairman of Helaba's Board of Managing Directors, in his assess­ment of the 2019 financial year. "At the present time, it is not yet possible to make any meaning­ful fore­cast for the bank's 2020 earnings since the eco­nomic conse­quen­ces of the corona­virus pandemic are still unfolding. For this reason, we have decided to refrain from pro­viding an outlook for the current finan­cial year."

The figures for the 2019 financial year at a glance

Net interest income rose by EUR 119 million to EUR 1,191 million (previous year: EUR 1,072 million), mainly due to higher volumes in our custo­mer lending activities. At EUR -86 million (previous year: EUR 45 million), pro­visions for losses on loans and advances re­turned to a near-normal level once again. Risk pro­visi­oning also in­cludes the additional allocation of a portfolio allowance in the form of a manage­ment adjustment of EUR 31 million. The increase in provisions for losses on loans and advances reflects the general deter­io­ration in the economy as a whole. Overall, Helaba enjoys a high portfolio quality. Net fee and commis­sion income saw a broad-based increase of EUR 46 million to EUR 395 mil­lion (previous year: EUR 349 million). This was primarily gene­rated by Helaba, Frankfurter Spar­kasse and Helaba Invest and was chiefly driven by growth in fees and commis­sion from loans and guaran­tees as well as from asset manage­ment activities.

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, increased by EUR 98 million to EUR 143 million (previous year: EUR 45 million). The client-driven capital market business had a parti­cularly positive effect here.

Other net income rose to EUR 387 million (previous year: EUR 370 million), largely as a result of special effects arising from the first-time conso­lidation of KOFIBA in an amount of EUR 125 million. The allo­cation of a restruct­uring provision for the Scope efficiency programme had a negative impact of EUR 71 million. General and adminis­trative expenses climbed to EUR 1,521 million (previous year: EUR 1,451 million), which was mainly attri­butable to significantly higher non-staff costs in connection with the im­plementation of regulatory re­quirements, the bank levy and allo­cations to institu­tional protection schemes of the Spar­kassen-Finanz­gruppe as well as higher person­nel expenses.

In the 2019 financial year, the Helaba Group's balance sheet total grew by EUR 44 billion to EUR 207.0 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 163.0 billion), princi­pally as a result of the consoli­dation of KOFIBA and the increased accep­tance of deposits and loans from custo­mers. The business volume increased by EUR 44.8 billion to EUR 245.7 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 200.9 billion). Loans and advances to custo­mers rose to EUR 118.5 billion (31 December 2018: EUR 96.3 billion). At EUR 21.5 billion, the volume of new medium and long-term business - excluding WIBank's competi­tively neutral promo­tional business - was above the previous year's figure of EUR 19.0 billion. 

As of 31 December 2019, the CET-1 ratio amoun­ted to 14.2 per cent (previous year: 14.9 per cent). Return on equity (before tax) reached 6.3 percent (previous year: 5.4 percent) and the cost-income ratio 71.1 percent (previous year: 78.5 percent)

Segment report

The Real Estate segment focuses on larger-scale com­mercial portfolio and project finan­cing for real estate. At EUR 257.0 million (previous year: EUR 242.0 million), pre-tax earnings in this segment were higher than in the previous year. The volume of new medium and long-term business increased slightly to EUR 10.0 billion (previous year: EUR 9.8 billion). The combi­nation of a persis­tently strong real estate market and good port­folio quality led to the reversal of provisions for losses on loans and advances in an amount of EUR 13.0 million, thus exceeding the already low level of the previous year (EUR -14.0 million)

In addition to credit products, the Corporates & Markets segment also comprises trading and sales activities as well as payment trans­actions. Earnings before tax in this segment fell to EUR 61.0 million (previous year: EUR 119.0 million). An increase in operating income was offset by sig­nificantly higher net risk pro­visioning of EUR -68.0 million (previous year: EUR 0.0 million). At EUR 126.1 million (previous year: EUR 173.6 million), the Corpo­rate Finance division once again made the largest contri­bution to earnings in this segment. New medium and long-term business in the Corporate Finance division rose by around a third to EUR 8.2 billion (previous year: EUR 6.1 billion). In addition to higher business volumes, the acquisition of DVB Bank SE's Land Transport Finance portfolio had a positive impact of approxi­mately EUR 1 billion. Net interest income fell below the previous year's level while an increase in net fee and com­mis­sion income and the net operating income from the client-driven capital market business were offset by charges resul­ting from higher valuation haircuts on derivatives. 

The Retail & Asset Mana­gement segment includes Retail Banking, Private Banking and Asset Mana­gement (via the subsidiaries of Frank­furter Spar­kasse, Frank­furter Bank­gesel­lschaft and Helaba Invest), Landes­bauspar­kasse Hessen-Thüringen and GWH. This segment's pre-tax earnings of EUR 188 million were lower than the previous year's figure of EUR 205 million, with the largest contributions coming from GWH and Frank­furter Spar­kasse. This result in this segment was adversely impacted by the absence of a positive special effect due to the sale of LB(Swiss) Investment AG in the previous year. At EUR -3.5 million, provisions for losses on loans and advances in this segment were virtually un­changed com­pared to the previous year (EUR -4.3 million)

In the WIBank segment, earnings before tax amounted to EUR 27 million, re­pre­senting an increase of EUR 8 million on the previous year's figure of EUR 19 million. Net interest income rose by EUR 9 million to EUR 60 million due to a growth in business activities. At EUR 40 million, net fee and commis­sion income was iden­tical to the previous year's level (previous year: EUR 40 million).

Mike Peter Schweitzer
Head of Communications and Marketing, Press Officer
Ursula-Brita Krück
Deputy Press Officer

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