The Slovenia Times

NKBM banking group halved profit in 2021

Economy

Maribor - NKBM, Slovenia's second largest banking group, nearly halved its net profit last year to EUR 112.6 million, which it attributed to the challenging business environment and Covid-19 pandemic.

The core bank's profit declined by nearly a half as well, amounting to EUR 108.9 million, the Maribor-based bank reported on Wednesday, assessing operations as successful nonetheless.

In May last year, the bank's owners, US fund Apollo (80%) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (20%), signed a deal to sell the bank to the Hungarian OTP Bank group, which already holds SKB Banka in Slovenia. Pending regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to be finalised in second or third quarter of the year.

The group's strategic transformation continued according to plans last year. The real estate subsidiary Anepremi─Źnine was sold as the factoring company Aleja finance was included in the group as its acquisition was finalised.

Summit Leasing, a leading leasing company in the market, which has been part of the group since 2017, last week signed a deal to buy Mercedes-Benz Leasing Croatia to ease its access to the Croatian market.

NKBM last year posted a return on equity after tax of 11.04% at the group level and 10.72% for the core bank and its total assets increased by 8.4% from 2020 to EUR 9.945 billion for the bank and EUR 9.958 billion for the group.

The bank said the group ended the 2021 financial year with "credit ratings that reflect the strong performance of the past few years".

It said it had kept its role as a major player in the bonds market, being the sole Slovenian bank to participate in the Slovenian sovereign bond issue and the sovereign's first ever sustainable bond issue.

NKBM chairman John Denhof said they would continue to pursue their vision of being the best bank in Slovenia with excellent staff and significant experience gained from previous bank mergers.

Andrej Fatur, the supervisory board chairman, added that the group had a sustainably profitable business model, remained well capitalised and had a very strong liquidity position, while being well positioned to face future risks and seize future opportunities, including plans to become part of the OTP Group.

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