The profit of listed LHV Group in the third quarter of this year fell by 5.2 percent on year to €5.5 million, and the company’s profit in the first nine months of this year totaled €15.4 million, 8.5 percent more than in the same period last year.
“We succeeded in proving the hypothesis that there is enough room in Estonia for LHV to grow multiple times. The bank’s customer base grew by 5,000, and the loan portfolio by €48 million,” CEO Madis Toomsalu said in a statement to the stock exchange.
“LHV’s strong underlying trends are also supported by the Estonian economic environment. Estonia has succeeded in overcoming the long period of active lethargy, failing to reach its potential, and moved on to a period of strong economic growth. The credit market has remained strong,” Toomsalu said.
“At the same time, we see ourselves more and more as a company who wishes to succeed in tight international competition and seize new business opportunities in a changing world. LHV prefers to be one of the leaders of change. We are therefore making a continual effort to expand to the British market. Opening an LHV Pank branch in London will help us to better serve our customers in the financial technology industry. Our role is to serve as a link between technology companies and infrastructure,” he added.
The bank’s third quarter was characterized by strong customer activity and a growth in loans and deposits. New customer numbers grew by 5,000 during the quarter, with the total number of customers exceeding 128,000. “LHV’s role in Estonian banking is growing: the Bank of Estonia has indicated that by the beginning of 2018 the bank will be one of four systemically important banks in Estonia and the fourth provider of vital banking services as set out in the Emergency Act,” Toomsalu said.
LHV’s pension funds are actively managed and stand apart from those of its competitors in this regard. This is evident in the major OTC investments in Estonia in the last quarters. “Among other things, active management means that when it comes to investing our focus lies above all on new projects, rather than the purchase of existing assets. The difference in the pension fund investment strategy also means a difference in yield. We believe that, against the backdrop of a high-priced securities market, our investment strategy serves the long-term interests of our customers,” Toomsalu said.
The number of active second pillar customers grew by 300, reaching 178,000. Several changes occurred in the funds during the quarter: two third pillar funds were merged, the conditions and the depot bank of two funds were changed, the bank also published the information on the amendment of the conditions of the actively managed pension funds as of 2018.
“LHV’s outlook for the year ahead is good. We pursue growth in all business directions. The profit posted in the nine months of 2017 is 300,000 euros higher than the net profit estimated in the financial plan published in February 2017. We are not changing the profit forecast of €21.8 million,” Toomsalu said.
LHV Group’s consolidated net profit in the third quarter totaled €5.5 million: the bank’s profit amounted to €4 million, the asset management division’s profit amounted to €1.7 million, and the Lithuanian business unit Mokilizingas earned €100,000 in profit. LHV Group’s return on equity belonging to the shareholders was 18.1 percent in the third quarter.
The group’s profit was €600,000 more than in the second quarter of this year, and €300,000 lower than in the third quarter of 2016.
The group’s consolidated loan portfolio grew by €49 million and reached €656 million. The consolidated deposits grew by a record €260 million, reaching €1.268 billion. The main source of deposit growth was a single payment service provider, the possibility of a decrease in the client’s deposit in the near future is likely.
During the quarter the volume of funds managed by LHV increased by €33 million or 3 percent, reaching €1.07 billion. In the third quarter the cost of the discount of loans was €1.3 million.
AS LHV Group posted a nine-month consolidated profit of €15.4 million. The bank earned a profit of €11.6 million, its asset management €4 million, and the Lithuanian business unit €600,000. The nine-month profit exceeds the results of last year by €1.2 million.
LHV Group is a financial services group and capital provider. The main subsidiaries of LHV Group are LHV Pank and LHV Varahaldus. The group employs approximately 350 people, and over 128,000 customers use LHV’s banking services. The pension funds managed by LHV have over 178,000 active clients.
Editor: Dario Cavegn