DNB's results for 1st quarter 2015

Robust Norwegian economy in spite of falling oil prices

DNB recorded profits of NOK 6 533 million in the first quarter of 2015, up NOK 1 054 million from the first quarter of 2014. The increase largely reflected exchange rate movements and a positive development in the bank’s basis swaps. Low impairment losses on loans also contributed to the strong performance.

Frontpage 1st quarter 2015 report DNB“As we entered 2015, there were many predictions of a sharp drop in Norwegian economic activity. We have our fingers on the pulse of every third Norwegian company, and it is clear that the economy is still in good health, even though these are difficult times for companies in the oil sector,” says Rune Bjerke, group chief executive.

From savings accounts to asset management
DNB is currently experiencing strong interest in long-term savings and asset management among its customers. Thus far this year, the bank has helped 40 000 customers start long-term mutual fund or pension savings schemes. This is an increase of 150 per cent compared with last year.

“In consequence of the low interest rate level, Norwegians have taken a more proactive approach to their own savings, which is a very positive development. The pension reform imposes much greater responsibility on each of us when it comes to managing our personal pension savings and the need to save for the future,” says Bjerke.

The first quarter of 2015 was also the first quarter when DNB’s mobile bank overtook DNB’s Internet bank as Norway’s largest banking service platform. During the first three months of the year, the mobile bank was used more than 34 million times. In addition, services that previously required customers to visit a branch office in person are increasingly being digitalised. As an example, the number of digital loan applications rose by 70 per cent during the quarter, while more than 86 per cent of savings schemes were initiated online.

Sound portfolio with lower impairment losses
There was an increase in DNB’s loan portfolio of 8.6 per cent parallel to a 7.0 per cent increase in deposit volumes from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015. The strong volume growth was partly due to exchange rate movements. Lending spreads narrowed marginally during the quarter, while deposit spreads widened slightly. The cost/income rato was 37 per cent. Impairment losses on loans and guarantees totalled NOK 575 million for the quarter, a reduction from NOK 821 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, but an increase from the first quarter of 2014. Non-performing and doubtful loans and guarantees were reduced by NOK 2.6 billion from end-March 2014, totalling NOK 13.9 billion.

Restructuring requires courage
The turnaround in the Norwegian economy and falling oil prices have so far had a limited effect on the labour market. The fall in the price of oil and prospects of even lower interest rates have resulted in a pronounced weakening of the Norwegian krone and thus improved competitiveness. In addition, lower wage inflation will stimulate mainland industries exposed to competition, which will also benefit from a certain increase in international demand.

“We still see many opportunities in the Norwegian market, and the need for restructuring and innovation in a number of sectors creates new dynamics. DNB is rooting for everyone who is dreaming of starting their own business. According to a report that was recently issued by DNB, there are one million dreams out there. Maybe one of them will be the new Snapchat or Alibaba? Whatever the outcome, we will be there and provide good advice to entrepreneurs who aspire to start their own business, all over Norway,” concludes Bjerke.

Key figures for the first quarter of 2015
  • Pre-tax operating profits before impairment were NOK 9.3 billion (7.4)
  • Profit for the period was NOK 6.5 billion (5.5)
  • Earnings per share were NOK 4.01 (3.37)
  • Return on equity was 16.1 per cent (15.4)
  • The ordinary cost/income ratio was 37.0 per cent (41.3)
Comparable figures for 2014 in parentheses.

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the
Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

Contact person:
Thomas Midteide, group executive vice president, Corporate Communications, tel.: + 47 962 32 017

The quarterly report, presentation and Fact Book can be downloaded from www.dnb.no/investor-relations
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