The Slovenia Times

NLB Group Makes EUR 34M in Half-Year Profit


The group around the core bank in full ownership of the state had EUR 162.3m in net interest revenue, up 21.5% year-on-year, while NLB alone increased its net interest revenue by 35% to EUR 114.3m.

Net non-interest revenue at the group level stood at EUR 88.6m (up 34.6%), and amounted to EUR 70.9m at the core bank (up 32.6%).

As part of its restructuring programme, the bank reduced its operating costs by 5.9% to EUR 96.7m, while the entire group cut its operating costs by 7.2% to EUR 150.2m.

"We firmly believe that the overhaul we started 18 months ago is already bringing results and clients' trust," NLB chairman Janko Medja told the press.

The restructuring, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, includes workforce cuts and so far 587 people have been laid off out of a planned 700. Twenty-two branch offices have been closed.

Medja added that a third of the profit is to be attributed to the effects of the capital increase by the state.

The press release moreover highlights a significantly lower amount of impairments and provisions. At the group level, these costs were down by 54.5% to EUR 66m, and at the core bank by 59.4% to EUR 53.4m.

Profit before provisions stood at EUR 100.7m at the group level (up 168%), and at EUR 88.5m at the core bank (up 151%).

NLB saw its total assets reduced by 2.% in the first half of the year due to the transfer of non-performing assets to the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC). The group's total assets were down by 2.1%.

Loans to the non-banking sector in the first half were down by 1.7% at the group level and by 2.5% at the core bank. The volume of loans to companies continued to decline, while the volume of retail loans was slightly up.

Deposits from the non-banking sector meanwhile increased both at the group level and the core bank, by 6% and 8%, respectively.

The share of bad loans among total loans, compared to the end of 2013, was up by 0.2 percentage points to 25.8% at the group level, and by 0.1% to 20.5% at the core bank.

The bank continues to project a EUR 16m net profit for 2014, but Medja said this was a conservative estimate.

Meanwhile, NLB's audit of past operations has by the end of July this year led to EUR 50m worth of damage claims filed as part of criminal complaints and to EUR 8m in damages demanded in civil lawsuits.

Medja also confirmed the finding that millions of euros in damage was caused in the servicing of the 2006 management buyout at logistics company Viator&Vektor under Marjan Kramar as NLB's boss.

Wep portal Siol reported today that the present NLB management filed at the start of the month a damages lawsuit against their predecessors Kramar, Matej Narat, Andrej Hazabent and Borut Stanič, who were in the credit committee in 2006 and are said to be accused of okaying loans to Viator&Vektor-associated companies. Siol says the damages claim stands at around EUR 7m.


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