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Bergen, 9 May 2018: The Sbanken group generated a net profit of NOK 166.4 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared with NOK 164.8 million in the first quarter last year. The increase in profit was primarily a result of growth in customer lending and an increased net interest margin, partly offset by increased loan losses as the sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans had a positive effect in Q1 2017.
At quarter-end, total customer lending increased to NOK 73.6 billion, compared with NOK 68.0 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2017. Sbanken experienced an increased number of mortgage applications in the quarter. The common equity Tier 1 capital ratio increased to 14.9 per cent, compared with 14.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017. Return on equity was 12.5 per cent, compared with 13.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.
"We have gained momentum to our growth and delivered strong results in the quarter. Continued strong growth in net client cash flow, and the release of our first version savings robot, strengthens our strong position in savings. Our solid capital position combined with a scalable business model and attractive products supports continued profitable growth. " says Magnar Øyhovden, CEO of Sbanken ASA.
Net interest income increased to NOK 348.4 (299.0) million as a result of increased net lending to customers and a slightly increased net interest margin. The net interest margin was 1.66 per cent, up from 1.63 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 and 1.65 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Operating expenses amounted to NOK 153.5 (149.4) million in the quarter. The increase of NOK 4.1 million from the first quarter of 2017 is mainly due to increased personnel costs, partly offset by reduced expenses for consultants, which in the first quarter of 2017 were related to rebranding and strategic initiatives.
The net cost of losses amounted to NOK 14.9 million in the quarter. Total expected credit losses amounted NOK 150.2 million at the end of the quarter, NOK 47.5 million of which was related to secured loans and NOK 102.7 million to unsecured loans. The loan loss ratio was 0.08 per cent.
At the end of the quarter, Sbanken had a CET 1 capital ratio of 14.9 per cent, a Tier 1 capital ratio of 16.4 per cent and a total capital ratio of 18.3 per cent. The capital ratios include 90 per cent of retained earnings from the quarter.
A detailed financial report for the group and for Sbanken ASA is attached to this notice. The report for the wholly owned subsidiary, Sbanken Boligkreditt AS, is distributed separately.
Contact details, Investor Relations
Brede Selseng, Head of IR Sbanken ASA, +47 971 62 171
Henning Nordgulen, CFO, Sbanken ASA, +47 952 65 990
Leif-Kjartan Bjørsvik, Head of communications, Sbanken ASA, +47 900 41 162
About Sbanken ASA
In April 2000, Sbanken was launched as the first purely digital bank in Norway. Today, the bank offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services to individuals and households in Norway within payments and card services, deposit-based savings, investment products, long-term loans and short- term loans. The bank has no branches and all products and services are offered directly through the digital platform, which is available on a broad range of user devices. As of 31 March 2018, Sbanken had 440 000 active customers and total assets of NOK 85.2 billion. For more information, see sbanken.no/investor-relations.