BCV Group delivered very solid FY 2019 results. Revenues were up 3% to CHF 1.0bn despite the negative-interest-rate environment. Operating profit increased 4% to CHF 419m, and net profit rose 4% to CHF 363m. At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will recommend a CHF 1 increase in the ordinary dividend, to CHF 36 per share. Shareholders will also be asked to vote on a proposed 10-for-1 stock split of the BCV share.
Revenues up 3%
BCV Group's revenues rose 3% to CHF 1.0bn. Interest income before loan impairment charges/reversals was steady at CHF 497m. Net interest income grew 3% to CHF 507m, driven by a net reversal of loan provisions. Net fee and commission income was up 2% to CHF 323m. Net trading income, which derives mainly from client forex trading activities, was stable at CHF 128m. Other ordinary income rose 8% to CHF 44m.
Operating profit up, with continued firm cost control
Operating expenses increased 1% to CHF 504m. Personnel costs were up 2% to CHF 339m, and other operating expenses were down 1% to CHF 165m. Depreciation and amortization rose 4% to CHF 71m, due mainly to investments in digital banking. Operating profit was up 4% to CHF 419m.
Net profit up 4% to CHF 363m
Net profit rose 4% to CHF 363m, reflecting higher operating profit and lower tax expense following the implementation of Vaud Canton’s corporate tax reform.
Balance sheet expands 1%
Total assets grew 1% to CHF 48.4bn. Cash and cash equivalents, which are mainly held as SNB deposits, continued to increase, rising 2% to CHF 8.4bn. Mortgage lending rose 4%, or CHF 937m, to CHF 27.0bn. Other loans were up 1% to CHF 5.8bn.
On the liabilities side, customer deposits grew further, rising 5%, or CHF 1.7bn, to CHF 33.0bn.
Continued new fund inflows
The Group's assets under management expanded 12% to CHF 97.8bn. Net new money totaled CHF 3.8bn. This figure comprised CHF 1.5bn in fund inflows from personal banking customers and local SMEs, as well as CHF 2.3bn from large-corporate and institutional clients.
Solid financial position
Shareholders’ equity rose 2% to CHF 3.6bn. At end-2019, the Bank’s CET1 capital ratio stood at 17.1%, attesting to the Bank’s financial solidity. Standard & Poor's and Moody's reaffirmed their respective AA and Aa2 ratings for BCV, both with a stable outlook.
Proposed CHF 310m payout
At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on 30 April 2020, the Board of Directors will recommend a CHF 1 increase in the ordinary dividend, to CHF 36 per share. This proposal is in line with the dividend policy announced by the Bank in 2018. If it is approved, BCV will return CHF 310m to its shareholders. The Canton of Vaud will receive CHF 207m in dividends together with CHF 26m in 2019 cantonal and municipal taxes, for a total of CHF 233m.
Proposed stock split
At the next Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board will also propose a 10-for‑1 stock split where one BCV share before the split will equal ten shares after the split. The split is intended to enhance the liquidity of BCV shares and make them more attractive to private investors. If the proposal is approved by shareholders, BCV shares will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on 28 May 2020.
Elections and changes to the Board of Directors
At the next Shareholders’ Meeting, BCV’s Board of Directors will recommend that Eftychia Fischer, currently a member of the boards of Vaudoise Assurances and Union Bancaire Privée, be named to BCV’s Board for a four-year term (see the 22 August 2019 press release). If the proposal is approved by shareholders, she will succeed Reto Donatsch, who will step down at the 2020 Shareholders’ Meeting, as he will have reached the age limit of 70 stipulated by law and the Bank’s Articles of Incorporation.
The Board will also recommend that shareholders re-elect Jack Clemons, who was first elected to the Board in 2016, for a further four-year term.
With Mr. Donatsch’s departure, the Vaud Cantonal Government has appointed Jean-François Schwarz as Vice Chair of BCV’s Board of Directors. Mr. Schwarz was appointed as a Board member in 2018 and took office in January 2019.
The Vaud Cantonal Government has also reappointed Peter Ochsner, who joined the Board in 2016, for a further four-year term starting on 1 July 2020.
Barring a significant deterioration in the financial markets and/or the overall economic situation, FY 2020 results are expected to trend along the same lines as in prior years.
Lausanne, Switzerland, 27 February 2020
30 March Publication of the 2019 Annual Report (on www.bcv.ch)
30 April Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in Lausanne
5 May Ex-dividend date
6 May Dividend record date
7 May Dividend payment
28 May First trading day on a post-split basis
20 August Half-year 2020 results
Banque Cantonale Vaudoise – Contacts
Daniel Herrera, Communications Director
Tel.: +41 21 212 28 61
Gregory Duong, Investor Relations
Tel.: +41 21 212 20 71
Note to editors:
This press release is being issued outside the trading hours of the SIX Swiss Exchange in order to comply with the principles of ad hoc disclosure pursuant to the SIX listing rules.
The above text is a translation of the original French document; only the French text is authoritative.