BCV Group delivered very solid FY 2018 results. Revenues were up 1% to CHF 977m despite the negative-interest-rate environment. Operating profit increased 4% to CHF 403m and net profit rose 9% to CHF 350m. At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will recommend an ordinary dividend of CHF 35 per share, which is in line with the Bank’s dividend policy and represents a CHF 2 increase.
Revenues higher despite negative-interest-rate environment
BCV Group's revenues rose 1% to CHF 977m. In an environment marked by continued negative interest rates, interest income before loan impairment charges was steady at CHF 496m. Net interest income grew 3% to CHF 490m owing to lower loan impairment charges. Net fee and commission income was flat at CHF 317m. Net trading income, which derives mainly from client forex trading activities, totaled CHF 128m (–4%). Other ordinary income rose 6% to CHF 41m.
Operating profit up 4% to CHF 403m on firm cost control
Operating expenses decreased 2% to CHF 500m. Personnel costs fell 1% to CHF 333m and other operating expenses were down 2% to CHF 167m. Depreciation and amortization declined 2% to CHF 69m. These factors drove operating profit up 4% to CHF 403m.
Net profit up 9% to CHF 350m
Extraordinary income came in at CHF 35m. That amount primarily reflected a real-estate disposal that had already positively impacted the Bank’s 2017 results (see the 15 February 2018 earnings release). Net profit rose 9% to CHF 350m.
Balance sheet expands 5%
Total assets grew 5% to CHF 47.9bn. Cash and cash equivalents, which mainly comprise SNB deposits, amounted to CHF 8.2bn (+2%). Mortgage lending rose 3%, or CHF 672m, to CHF 26.1bn. Other loans were up by a strong 18% to CHF 5.7bn. On the liabilities side, customer deposits grew further, rising 3%, or CHF 863m, to CHF 31.4bn.
Continued new fund inflows
The Group's assets under management expanded 1% to CHF 87.6bn. Net new money totaled CHF 4bn. This figure comprised CHF 1.2bn in fund inflows from personal banking customers and Vaud SMEs as well as CHF 2.8bn from largecorporate and institutional clients.
Solid financial position
At end-2018, the Bank’s CET1 capital ratio remained unchanged at 17.1% and shareholders’ equity amounted to CHF 3.5bn, attesting to BCV'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 301m payout
At the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will recommend an ordinary dividend of CHF 35 per share, representing a CHF 2 increase over the distribution for 2017. This proposal is in keeping with the dividend policy announced by the Bank in 2018. If it is approved, BCV will return CHF 301m to its shareholders. The Canton of Vaud will receive CHF 202m in dividends together with CHF 60m in 2018 cantonal and municipal taxes, for a total of CHF 262m.
Changes to the Board of Directors
In April 2018, the Vaud Cantonal Government appointed two new members to the BCV Board of Directors: Fabienne Freymond Cantone replaced Luc Recordon and took up her position on 26 April 2018; and Jean-François Schwarz succeeded Vice Chairman Paul-André Sanglard on 1 January 2019. Reto Donatsch, a Board member since 2011, became the new Vice Chairman on 1 January 2019.
Barring a significant deterioration in the financial markets and/or the overall economic situation, FY 2019 results are expected to trend along the same lines as in prior years.
Lausanne, Switzerland, 21 February 2019
2 April Publication of the 2018 Annual Report (on www.bcv.ch)
2 May Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in Lausanne
6 May Ex-dividend date
7 May Dividend record date
8 May Dividend payment
22 August Half-year 2019 results
Christian Jacot-Descombes, Press Officer
Tel.: +41 79 816 99 30
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.