||Good operating performance within the DZ BANK Group and at DZ BANK AG
||Successful cooperation with the cooperative banks
||Capital base strengthened from within the Cooperative Financial Services Network and under the Group’s own steam
||Tier-1 ratio reaches 9.9 percent
||Partial reduction of BVR guarantee
||Market initiatives launched successfully in the SME business, in Private Banking and in Transaction Banking
On the basis of the preliminary figures (IFRS) the DZ BANK Group reported earnings before tax of EUR 836 million last year (previous year: EUR -1,551 million). ‘The results show the capability and stability of DZ BANK Group with its broad and balanced positioning as the central institution of the Cooperative Financial Services Network,’ said Wolfgang Kirsch, CEO of DZ BANK AG.
The DZ BANK Group was also able to improve its capital resources appreciably in the past financial year: the Tier-1 ratio as of 31.12.2009 is 9.9 percent (31.12.2008: 7.4 percent). Other factors contributing to this alongside the successful capital-enhancing measures carried out by the owners included the reduction of supplementary non-core operations and the appropriation of retained earnings. This positive development means that DZ BANK is now already in a position to reduce gradually the guarantee given by the BVR to relieve the burden on the equity capital. The guarantee was already reduced in 2009 and a further reduction is planned by returning an amount of around EUR 230 million. This reduces the original volume of the BVR guarantee by roughly one third from EUR 1.2 billion to EUR 760 million.
‘We are confident that we shall be able to increase DZ BANK’s profitability yet further at the operating level this year despite the fact that the macroeconomic setting remains unstable. A self-sustaining upswing is not to be expected before 2011. ‘In 2010 we shall systematically continue on the successful course with which we are aligning DZ BANK in its role as a central institution with a focus on the Cooperative Financials Services Network,’ said Kirsch.
Results of the DZ BANK Group
The DZ BANK Group and with it DZ BANK AG achieved good operating income in financial year 2009, especially in their business with the local cooperative banks: DZ BANK AG was able to increase its portfolio of lendings to the SME segment significantly. In the development loans business DZ BANK chalked up a new record, increasing the volume of new lendings by 15 percent to EUR
5.5 billion. The sales volume in the certificates business increased from EUR 2.7 billion to EUR 3.3 billion. With its ‘Akzent Invest’ brand attracting a market share of 17.6 percent, DZ BANK thus occupies second place in the market as a whole.
Among the Group’s subsidiaries, Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall clearly defended its position as market leader in the German home loan and savings market. Although, as had been expected, at EUR 25 billion the new home loan and saving business lagged the record year 2008, Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall was still able to occupy at a stroke the position of market leader in this new product segment with around 100,000 ‘FuchsWohnRente’ home-loan-and-saving contracts. In the brokerage of home loans Schwäbisch Hall achieved a volume of around EUR 10 billion – an increase of roughly 18 percent. The R+V Group reported in 2009 one of its most successful financial years. The company enjoyed above-average growth in all business segments and saw premiums grow by 11.4 percent overall to more than EUR 10.5 billion. At Union Investment assets under management increased significantly, up by 15 percent to EUR 166 billion. With its consumer credit product ‘EasyCredit’ Teambank increased the loan portfolio by around 14 percent to EUR 5.6 billion.
Due partly to these operating successes, the DZ BANK Group’s group net profit increased to EUR 836 million compared to a loss of EUR -1,551 million in the previous year. ‘With this result we have returned to profitability. We were also able to digest the appreciable strains resulting from the financial crisis and its repercussions and to make provision for a changing regulatory environment. Our group continues to do so under its own steam and that of the cooperative organisation,’ continued Kirsch.
Interest net income declined in the DZ BANK Group compared to the year-earlier period by 17.3 percent to EUR 2,397 million. This was due in particular to lower external income from affiliates, the reduction of interest-bearing positions as well as the increased cost of own funds and the issuance of long-term liabilities. Two thirds of the decline in the income from affiliates were, however, due to the bank’s pro-rata share in the losses at Österreichische Volksbanken-AG Group (ÖVAG).
Impairment losses on loans and advances amounted to EUR 683 million in the DZ BANK Group (previous year: EUR 545 million). The 25.3 percent increase on the previous year reflects the challenging economic environment. As expected, the severe economic downturn was reflected in higher impairment losses at DZ BANK AG. VR Leasing and the DVB sub-group were also affected by the deterioration in the economic environment.
Fee and commission net income increased in the DZ BANK Group by 2.0 percent to EUR 879 million (previous year: EUR 862 million). This was driven mainly by the strong increase of 16.4 percent to EUR 249 million reported by DZ BANK AG. DZ BANK benefited from the expansion of its market position in the bond-issuing business as well as from the heavy demand from the local cooperative banks for interest-rate hedging instruments and retail products.
Gains and losses on trading activities in the DZ BANK Group increased to EUR 1,067 million, up EUR 2,234 million compared to the EUR -1,167 million reported in the previous year. This was largely driven by DZ BANK AG’s gains and losses on trading activities of EUR 1,002 million. ‘As regards our gains and losses on trading activities, we may note that – in contrast to the previous year – these reflect, on the one hand, reversals of impairments in the securities portfolios, but are, on the other hand, equally determined by the very gratifying developments in the customer-based business on the fixed-income side and in the certificates business,’ said Kirsch.
Gains and losses on investments improved slightly compared to the previous year, up from EUR -640 million to EUR -635 million. This includes charges from various securities portfolios, especially ABS.
Net income from insurance operations increased by EUR 173 million compared to the previous year to EUR 314 million.
Administrative expenses in the DZ BANK Group amounted to EUR 2,481 million, almost matching the year-earlier level (2008: EUR 2,487 million). The DZ BANK Group thus continued to show considerable sensitivity to the cost-side.
Total assets in the DZ BANK Group as of 31 December 2009 amounted to around EUR 388.5 billion (previous year: EUR 427.1 billion). This corresponds to a decline of almost EUR 40 billion. The main factors in this included the systematic reduction of risk-weighted assets and DZ BANK AG’s focus on business operations conforming to the interests of the Cooperative Financial Services Network within the framework of Programme 2011.
The revaluation reserve recovered by EUR 685 million from EUR -926 million to EUR -241 million.
The Tier-1 ratio for the DZ BANK Group as of 31 December 2009 was 9.9 percent (31 December 2008: 7.4 percent).
The payment of a dividend of 10 cents per share is to be proposed to the Annual General Meeting (previous year: 5 cents).
‘It is precisely in the recent crisis that the local cooperative banks have shown that it is the classic qualities that must again be placed very much to the fore in the banking business: traditionally close ties with the SME segment, personal proximity to customers, the reliability of a genuine house bank, good and comprehensible financial products and the value of good advisory services. All of us in the Cooperative Financial Services Network feel bound by these criteria for success. As the central institution of the Cooperative Financial Services Network, DZ BANK benefits from the high and rising reputation of the cooperative segment of the German banking system. This is also reflected in the good start made by the market initiatives launched in the SME segment as well as in Private Banking and Transaction Banking. Thanks to our orientation as a central institution with a focus on the Cooperative Financials Services Network, we shall also be able to continue our good operating performance in 2010. With due reserve at this early point in time: our operating business has got off to a gratifying start. Promoting those structures that have proven their strengths in the crisis holds the key to success. The Cooperative Financial Services Network can set an example here and can function as an important and stable pillar for Germany as a financial centre,’ said Wolfgang Kirsch.
Speech Wolfgang Kirsch (100 KB)
Presentation (1077 KB)
Preliminary income statement DZ BANK Group (IFRS)