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SEB profits up 49% on year

SEB Group's operating profit after taxes and provisions in Latvia last year reached EUR 52.3 million, which is a 49 percent increase over the 2015 profit which stood at EUR 35 million.

Profit before provisions was EUR 64.9 million, up 24 percent from 2015. Last year provisions were created in the amount of EUR 6.6 million or by 48 percent less than in 2015.

Karlis Danevics, CFO and a board member of SEB Banka, said that the 2016 profit figure was significantly influenced by a one-off transaction - the sale of shares in Visa Europe.

SEB Group's income in Latvia was EUR 115.8 million last year, growing 14 percent from 2015. But interest income fell in 2016 and, but for the Visa deal, total income in 2016 would have remained on the 2015 level or even decreased slightly, he said.

Costs grew 4 percent compared to 2015 and amounted to EUR 50.9 million in 2016.

Deposits at SEB Banka totaled EUR 2.2 billion at the end of 2016, up 6 percent from late 2015.

Last year SEB Group issued EUR 751 million in loans in Latvia or by 51 percent more than in 2015. This included EUR 597 million issued in corporate loans, up 46 percent year-on-year, and EUR 154 million in personal loans or by 77 percent more than in 2015.

SEB group's total loan portfolio increased 3 percent in 2016, reaching EUR 2.5 billion at the end of the year. 2016 was the first year in the post-crisis period when the loan portfolio started showing growth again, although at a slow pace.

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LETA also reported that from February 10 to 12, SEB Banka will switch to its new IT and customer service system.

It was several years in the making and cost the bank EUR 30 million.

The portfolio of SEB Lizings leasing company grew 17 percent in 2016 to EUR 251 million at the end of the year. The bank serves more than 456,000 active customers.

SEB group's capital and reserves stood at EUR 434.2 million at the end of 2016, and assets totaled EUR 3.52 billion but the capital adequacy ratio was 19.9 percent.

SEB Banka is the fourth largest bank in Latvia in terms of assets.

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