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Sbanken ASA: Positive margin development and increased market share within savings

Bergen, 13 February 2019. The Sbanken group generated a profit before loan losses of NOK 253.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared with NOK 216.6 in the fourth quarter last year. During the same period net interest income increased by NOK 16.9, and net fee and commission income increased by NOK 11.3 million. Net profit in the quarter was NOK 169.2 (174.1) million and NOK 722.7 (658.6) million for the full year.
 
Lending growth for the full year was in line with target at 9.8 per cent. At quarter-end, total customer lending had increased to NOK 79.2 billion, compared with NOK 72.1 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. Return on equity in the fourth quarter was 11.5 per cent, and 12.9 per cent for the full year. Proposed dividend for 2018 is NOK 1.75 per share, corresponding to 26.8 per cent of net profit.
 
Highlights:
  • Positive margin development - increase of 11 bps in the quarter.
  • Lending growth in line with target at 9.8 per cent in 2018.
  • EPS growth of 9.9 per cent in 2018.
  • Proposed dividend of NOK 1.75 per share.
 
"Compared to the previous quarter the net interest margin increased by 0.11 percentage points. Growth in consumer credit continued its positive trend with a growth rate of 9.1 per cent in the quarter. Following challenging development in the financial markets, the Norwegian retail mutual funds market had net outflow of 4.1 billion in 2018. Given these market conditions we are pleased to see that net client cash flow into Sbanken was positive both in the quarter, and for the full year. " says Magnar Øyhovden, CEO of Sbanken ASA.
 
Net interest income increased to NOK 362.1 (345.2) million as a result of increased net lending to customers partly offset by a reduced net interest margin. The net interest margin was 1.56 per cent, down from 1.65 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Compared to the previous quarter the net interest margin increased by 0.11 percentage points.   
 
Operating expenses amounted to NOK 160.6 (173.4) million in the quarter. The reduction of NOK 12.8 million from the fourth quarter of 2017 was primarily due to one-off expenses related to the bank's rebranding in 2017.
 
The net cost of losses amounted to NOK 27.5 million in the quarter, equivalent to a loan loss ratio of 0.14 per cent. The loan loss ratio for the full year was 0.10 per cent.
 
At the end of the quarter, Sbanken had a CET 1 capital ratio of 14.6 per cent, a Tier 1 capital ratio of 15.9 per cent and a total capital ratio of 17.7 per cent. The capital ratios are based on proposed dividend, thus including 73.2 per cent of 2018 net profit. 
 
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
Torkil Wiberg, Head of IR, Sbanken ASA, +47 928 33 331
Henning Nordgulen, CFO, Sbanken ASA, +47 952 65 990
 
Media contact
Geir Holen, Head of communications , Sbanken ASA, +47 959 68 286
 
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 December 2018, Sbanken had total assets of NOK 91.5 billion. For more information, see sbanken.no/investor-relations.
 
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.