Press Release :: VTB Bank
Moscow, 2 June 2010 – VTB Group today announces its unaudited IFRS results for the three months ending 31 March 2010.
Andrei Kostin, VTB President and Chairman of the Management Board, said:
"I am delighted to report that VTB has returned strongly to profitability in the first quarter of 2010. While we have been helped by an improving economic backdrop, I am pleased that the efforts to re-orientate the Group towards areas which can drive profitability are bearing fruit. With the new strategy announced, I look forward to building on our strong franchise and delivering solid returns in the future."
FINANCIAL AND OPERATING REVIEW
VTB has emerged significantly strengthened from the economic crisis. The emphasis on developing strong retail and investment banking capabilities, delivering higher value product and services to the Group’s traditional corporate customer base and extending the franchise into new areas has delivered strong earnings momentum throughout the business.
VTB returned strongly to profit in the first quarter of 2010 delivering a record quarterly net result of RUB 15.3 billion with annualized return on equity at 11.9%. That compares with a loss of RUB 20.5 billion in the first quarter of 2009.
The Group benefited from improving credit quality as the economic recovery gathered pace, while its underlying performance was also strong, reflecting good contributions from interest income, fees and commissions and from financial instruments. Operating income before provisions rose 34% year-on-year to RUB 58.1 billion, against RUB 43.2 billion in the first quarter of 2009. Net interest income before provisions increased 22% year-on-year to RUB 42 billion, while net fee and commission income was up 19% year-on-year to RUB 5.1 billion. Income from financial instruments was RUB 8.4 billion as compared to a RUB 11.3 billion loss in the first quarter of 2009.
Funding costs, which have been an important focus of management attention, came down in the first quarter. As a result, net interest margin before provisions stood at 5.2% in the first quarter of 2010, up substantially compared with 4.1% in the first quarter of 2009.
Demand for credit remained subdued in the first quarter and with competition for quality borrowers increasing there was downward pressure on interest rates, a trend that was exacerbated by strong liquidity in the banking sector. In this environment, VTB focused its efforts on expanding operations with quality customers through a targeted relationship approach and providing higher value added product. Corporate gross loans were up 1% to RUB 2,120.9 billion in the quarter. Retail loans were RUB 419.1 billion as compared to RUB 435.3 billion at the end of 2009. There was strong growth in consumer loans which increased by 4% during the first three months of 2010 to RUB 190.5 billion. VTB’s total gross loans remained flat at RUB 2.5 trillion.
Provision charges fell by 68% year-on-year to RUB 15.5 billion in the first quarter of 2010 from RUB 49.2 billion in the same period of 2009 reflecting a slow down in the pace of credit deterioration. The allowance for loan impairment was 9.8% of total gross loans at the end of the first quarter as compared to 9.2% at the end of 2009. Non-performing loans (NPLs) amounted to 10.2% of total loans against 9.8% at the end of last year. NPLs growth rate slowed down in the first quarter - NPLs ratio increased 40 bps versus 200 bps in the fourth quarter of 2009. Coverage remained at a comfortable level of 96% of NPLs.
In a highly competitive deposit market, deposits remained broadly flat at RUB 1.6 trillion. Total corporate deposits were down slightly to RUB 1,060.9 billion from RUB 1,092.3 billion at the end of 2009. Retail deposits were up 4% quarter-on-quarter to RUB 493.6 billion from RUB 476.5 billion at the end of December 2009.
VTB also took advantage of the progressive re-opening of the wholesale capital markets. During the quarter, the Group successfully priced a U.S.$1.25 billion Eurobond offering at 6.465% which resulted in a tightening of the VTB secondary curve. VTB also placed RUB 20 billion of domestic bonds with a coupon 7.6%. The Group increased its share of funding from customer deposits to 55% at the end of the first quarter of 2010 from 51% at the end of 2009.
Focus on cost control and improved efficiency remained a key priority for the Group. In February 2010, JSC VTB Bank announced plans to reduce its staff and vacancies by 10% to be implemented by the end of the first half of the year, together with measures to improve efficiency. Overall, costs were RUB 22.2 billion up from RUB 17.1 billion in the first quarter of 2009, but down 7% from RUB 23.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. The cost-to-income ratio (defined as ratio of staff and administrative expenses to operating income before provisions) improved to 38.2% compared to 39.6% in the first quarter of 2009.
During the quarter, VTB’s capital position remained strong. The total BIS ratio was 22.2% with a Tier-1 ratio of 16.2%, up from 20.7% and 14.8% respectively since the end of 2009.
In a more competitive environment, VTB’s priority was to strengthen its relationships with top customers operating in key industries while continuing expansion into the quality regional customer segment.
VTB’s corporate business benefited both from an improvement in credit quality and increased focus on efficiency and margins, posting a profit before tax of RUB 9.1 billion versus a loss of RUB 18.2 billion in the same quarter of 2009.
Management has worked on the implementation of the Corporate Investment Banking (CIB) concept to maximize the synergy opportunities across the two businesses in line with the Group’s strategy for 2010 - 2013.
In step with the improving market conditions and the progressive normalization of the loan market, the corporate business has relaxed some of the emergency lending controls imposed at the height of the crisis to allow faster approvals and greater flexibility to respond to customer needs.
RETAIL BUSINESS – VTB24
Growing VTB’s retail franchise is a key element in the Group’s long term strategy of diversifying earnings into higher growth, higher margin areas and capitalizing on the secular growth in demand in Russia and the former CIS for sophisticated retail banking services. The retail business posted a strong quarterly pre-tax profit of RUB 6.7 billion versus a loss of RUB 4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2009.
In the lending market VTB24 continued to focus on shorter-term and higher margin products including consumer loans, auto loans and credit cards. The Group’s market share in retail lending increased by 30 basis points to 10.5% at the end of the first quarter.
Despite strong competition for retail deposits, which partially came from smaller institutions, VTB24 focused on protecting margins and was able to maintain its share of the retail deposit market at 5.9% and grow the absolute level of retail deposits overall.
With the return to economic growth, VTB24 has cautiously resumed its branch network expansion program and opened three new branches in the first quarter of 2010. The bank plans to open 48 new outlets by the end of the year to boost its presence in key markets and continue to grow its client base which totaled 4.8 million active retail customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010.
Source: VTB Bank
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