Citadele Group today announced its results for the first three months of 2018, with an improving net profit, strong year-on-year increase in net interest income and new experience-enhancing solutions for customers to support their growth across the three Baltic States.
- Net profit increase of 3% to EUR 9.4 million (Bank: EUR 6.6 million)
- Net interest income was up by 12% year-on-year to EUR 19.7 million
- Loan book growth of 4%. EUR 74 million new loans granted since 31 March 2017, split between new business loans of EUR 43 million and retail customer loans of EUR 31 million
- Higher capital adequacy ratio of 18.7% (Bank 20.2%)
- Asset quality improvement with NPLs decreasing to 8.1% from 9.6% at 31 March 2017 (Bank 8.9%)
- Return on assets improved to 1.17% versus 1.10% in the same period last year
Increasing returns from Citadele Group’s Baltic loan portfolio and improvements in asset quality drove overall performance in Q1 2018 as net interest income grew by 12% to EUR 19.7 million. Profitability also continued to grow with 3% increase year-on-year to EUR 9.4 million (Bank: EUR 6.6 million).
Guntis Beļavskis, CEO, Citadele, commented: “It has been a strong first quarter for Citadele Group as we continue our lending strategy in-line with our goal to be the leading banking service provider in the Baltics. We saw positive trends in all our key metrics and improvements in asset quality continue validate our prudent approach to risk management. Citadele Group remains focused on building its presence in the Baltic countries and we remain committed to delivering innovative products and services to our retail and business clients in the region.”
Increased loans to businesses and residents
Consistent with its goal to be the leading banking service provider in the Baltics, the Group increased loans to corporate, SMEs and private individuals in all three Baltic states in Q1 2018, achieving 4% growth year-on-year in the Group’s net loan portfolio of EUR 1.32 billion. In the first quarter of 2018, EUR 74 million of new loans were granted.
In Latvia, the loan portfolio reached a total of EUR 1.0 billion, with the bank granting EUR 47 million in new loans in Q1 2018. In Lithuania the loan portfolio reached EUR 260 million, with EUR 19 million granted in new loans in Q1 2018. In Estonia the loan portfolio grew to EUR 106 million, with a total of EUR 9 million granted in new loans.
Group’s asset quality continued to improve through Q1 2018, with non-performing loans (NPL) decreasing to 8.1% (Bank: 8.9%), compared with 9.6% (Bank: 10.8%) on 31 March 2017. Citadele Group’s capital adequacy ratio reached 18.7% (Bank: 20.2%) in Q1 2018, compared with Q1 2017 when the Group’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) was 15.8% (Bank: 18.3%). The Group’s liquidity position also remained strong, with the Group’s LCR at 288% and its loan-to-deposit ratio at 49% at the end of Q1.
Increase in domestic deposits
Citadele is pleased with the progress made in the Baltic market where the Group increased domestic deposits by almost EUR 30 million. Non-domestic customer business continued to be scaled back and resulted in a decrease of overall deposits in the first quarter 2018. As at 31 March 2018, the Group’s deposits were EUR 2.7 billion; a reduction of 7% compared with the first quarter of 2017.
Investments in digital banking technologies
In 2018 Citadele continued to invest in digital banking technologies and customer services. As a result, the Group’s administrative expenses were EUR 20.9 million (Bank: EUR 16.5 million), which was a 12% increase versus the first quarter 2017.
The Group continued to launch and improve digital solutions, products and services to meet customers’ expectations in multiple channels: online bank and mobile application, upgraded contactless payment terminals functionality and new touchscreen ATMs.
To support the small and medium sized business (SME) customers and making banking easy, Citadele was the first in the Baltics to introduce a new online tool to determine the individual credit rating of a business – similar to previously introduced individual credit rating functionality to private customers.
This allows clients to focus more on their businesses and determine their eligibility and terms for a microloan online. This new online tool enables any Latvian SME business to discover in just a few minutes what a potential new microloan amount and interest rate could be, regardless which bank they currently use.
Thanks to the Group’s reputation in AML and compliance as well as the Group’s prior experience of working in collaboration with the Deposit Guarantee Fund on the disbursement of state-guaranteed compensation, Citadele was entrusted by the Financial Capital Market Commission to facilitate pay-outs of state-guaranteed compensation to AS ABLV Bank depositors from 3 March 2018.
This track record of risk management and regulatory compliance was further underlined by Moody’s commentary published in February 2018, which highlighted the Group’s strong position to withstand the pressure that may have grown from events impacting the Latvian banking sector, its growth in the Baltic states and reduced transactions in the CIS.
Citadele is the third-largest bank in Latvia by number of clients. The bank’s shareholders are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and an international group of investors with global experience in the banking sector. The Citadele Group is managed from Latvia with subsidiaries and branches in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland. Citadele provides transactions and card payments, loans, deposits, investments, active management and leasing services, as well as a range of exclusive, unique products. In 2017 one of the leading customer service evaluation and improvement companies in Central and Eastern Europe, Dive, acknowledged Citadele as the bank with the best customer service in Latvia and Lithuania.