• Increase in result of 86% to EUR 62.0 million; return on equity of 10.1% in line with the medium-term forecast of around 10%
• Significant growth in customer loans of 10.4% and customer deposits of 7.6% since the beginning of the year
• Scaling effects reflected in strong improvement of cost-income ratio to 62.4% (9M 2020: 66.5%)
• Risk costs at the low level of 8 basis points thanks to further improvements in credit risk indicators
• Return on equity for the 2021 financial year as a whole is expected to be at the upper end of the increased forecast range of 8.0 – 9.5%; cost-income ratio is likely to not exceed 65%
• Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 December 2021 to decide upon the already announced further dividend payment proposal of EUR 0.35 per ordinary share for the 2020 financial year
The ProCredit group, which is mainly active in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, reports good results at the end of the third quarter of the current financial year. As expected, growth in the customer loan portfolio was strong at EUR 549 million or 10.4% since the beginning of the year (9M 2020: EUR +408 million or 8.5%). The consolidated result increased by 86% to EUR 62.0 million (9M 2020: EUR 33.4 million) thanks to increased operating income and lower risk costs. With an annualized return on equity of 10.1% (9M 2020: 5.6%) the group has made an important step towards achieving its current medium-term target of a sustained profitability level of approximately 10%.
The portfolio growth of EUR 549 million or 10.4% surpassed the growth figures of the previous year (9M 2020: EUR +408 million or 8.5%), with appreciation in the value of national currencies contributing approximately EUR 100 million to this development. The green loan portfolio, which includes targeted lending for environmentally sound investments, also showed strong growth of 11.7% year to date in 2021.
Customer deposits increased by EUR 373 million or 7.6% (9M 2020: EUR +384 million or +8.9%). Most of the growth came from sight and overnight deposits with low interest rates, serving to further improve the group’s refinancing structure and positively impacting the net interest margin.
“The group financial and business results are very promising,” says ProCredit Management. “We see our SME clients across our South Eastern and Eastern European markets emerging relatively strongly from the pandemic. We are encouraged that investments in green technologies remains our fastest growing segment. Now more than ever there is awareness that emerging markets need to develop economically without driving climate change and biodiversity loss. Thanks to our comprehensive approach towards credit risk, which also considers the environmental and social impact of our clients, we feel very well-placed to continue to support SMEs to make this transition. The good financial results are particularly pleasing in this respect, because they show more than ever that financial success is well compatible with sustainable action.”
Improved earnings, low risk expenses and further efficiency gains lift return on equity to over 10%
The consolidated profit of EUR 62.0 million translates into a significantly improved return on equity of 10.1% compared to the previous year (9M 2020: EUR 33.4 million or 5.6%). For the third quarter of 2021, RoE was in fact 12.3%. An improvement in the profitability of all regional segments, which can be attributed to the improved earnings situation of banks that had been less profitable in the past, contributed to the 86% increase in the consolidated result. All ProCredit banks posted positive results as at 30 September 2021. At the ProCredit group’s Capital Markets Day on 12 October 2021, the Management Board outlined their expectation that in the next two years group profitability should consolidate around the mid-term target level now being achieved through continual scaling effects.
Net interest income for the first nine months of 2021 increased by 7.1% to EUR 161.4 million (9M 2020: EUR 150.7 million). Since the beginning of the year, the net interest margin has followed a positive trend, rising steadily from 2.7% (in Q1 2021) to 2.9% (Q2 2021) and it now stands at 3.0% (Q3 2021).
At EUR 37.1 million, net fee and commission income was 6.8% above the level recorded in the previous year (9M 2020: EUR 34.7 million). Income from the transaction and card business showed particularly positive trends, although commission expenses also increased in part due to the continued use of guarantee facilities which the group benefits from.
Over the first nine months of 2021, the portfolio quality showed a further improvement compared to year-end 2020. As at 30 September 2021, the share of credit-impaired loans was unchanged at 2.6%, but there was a significant decrease in the share of loans in Stage 2, which was 0.8 percentage points lower at 4.1%. Against this backdrop, the expenses for loss allowances fell sharply to EUR 3.2 million compared to the same period of the previous year (9M 2020: EUR 21.1 million), also because the previous year’s expenses were strongly influenced by model effects related to the pandemic and the worsened economic outlook. The annualised cost of risk thus fell to 8 basis points (9M 2020: 56 basis points). These positive developments also illustrate that the SME clients of the ProCredit banks have succeeded well in adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and in ensuring the continuation of their business operations under these adverse conditions.
The scaling potential for the ProCredit group’s business operations, which was also emphasised at the Capital Markets Day on 12 October 2021, is underscored by a stable cost structure combined with sustainable business growth. Personnel and administrative expenses increased by EUR 2.6 million in the first nine months, while operating income (before cost of risk) rose by EUR 16.5 million. The low increase in costs was further supported by the unusually low travel expenses due to the pandemic. As a result, the cost-income ratio decreased to 62.4% (H1 2021: 64.4%; 9M 2020: 66.5%), thus getting closer to the medium-term target of below 60%.
Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio at a comfortable level of 13.8%
The Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio (CET1 fully loaded) as of 30 September 2021 was 13.8%, and thus 50 basis points above the end-2020 level (31 December 2020: 13.3%). The consolidated result for the third quarter of 2021 is not yet recognised in the regulatory capital. At 9.5%, the leverage ratio remains at a particularly high level compared to the overall banking sector. For future dividend payments, one third of the profits recognised at the respective time have already been deducted in full from regulatory capital.
Return on equity for 2021 expected to be at the upper end of the corridor of 8.0 – 9.5%
The return on equity for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 8.0% and 9.5%, in line with the raised forecast issued in July 2021. From today’s perspective, the Management Board expects the RoE to be at the upper end of this corridor. The cost-income ratio is likely to not exceed 65%. Growth in the customer loan portfolio is expected unchanged at around 10% after adjustment for currency effects. The Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio (CET1 fully loaded) is expected to be in excess of 13% by the end of the 2021 financial year. In view of the very positive business development to date, the Management Board remains optimistic for the remainder of 2021. At the same time, however, macroeconomic challenges arising from factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with rising infection figures in Bulgaria and Romania, for example, are being closely monitored.
Dividend decision planned for Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 December 2021
On 27 October 2021, the notice convening the Extraordinary General Meeting of ProCredit Holding on 8 December 2021 was published. The agenda foresees a resolution on the payment of a previously announced further dividend of EUR 0.35 per ordinary share for the 2020 financial year, to be distributed in December 2021. In line with ProCredit Holding’s dividend policy, this additional distribution is designed to achieve a cumulative dividend payment for the 2019 and 2020 financial years that corresponds to one third of the consolidated result of these two financial years. ProCredit is thus fulfilling the commitment it made in autumn 2020 to submit to shareholders a proposal for the appropriation of profits in 2021, which will compensate for the shortfall in the dividend payment for the 2019 financial year.
The ProCredit group’s quarterly report as at 30 September 2021 will be available on the ProCredit Holding website from today. It can be found in the Investor Relations section at https://www.procredit-holding.com/investor-relations/reports-and-publications/.
Andrea Kaufmann, Group Communications, ProCredit Holding,
Tel.: +49 69 951 437 138, e-mail: Andrea.Kaufmann@procredit-group.com
About ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA
ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA, based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is the parent company of the development-oriented ProCredit group, which consists of commercial banks for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In addition to its operational focus on South Eastern and Eastern Europe, the ProCredit group is also active in South America and Germany. The company’s shares are traded on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The anchor shareholders of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA include the strategic investors Zeitinger Invest and ProCredit Staff Invest (the investment vehicle for ProCredit staff), the Dutch DOEN Participaties BV, KfW Development Bank and IFC (part of the World Bank Group). As the group’s superordinated company according to the German Banking Act, ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA is supervised on a consolidated level by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) and the German Bundesbank. For additional information, visit: www.procredit-holding.com.
This press release contains statements relating to our future business development and financial performance, as well as statements relating to future actions or developments affecting ProCredit Holding which may constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on the management of ProCredit Holding’s current expectations and specific assumptions, many of which are beyond the control of ProCredit Holding. They are therefore subject to a multitude of risks, uncertainties and factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialise, or should underlying expectations or assumptions prove incorrect, then the actual results, performance and achievements (both negative and positive) of ProCredit Holding may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statement. Beyond the legally stipulated requirements, ProCredit Holding does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements or to correct them in the event of deviations from the expected development.