Avanza: Interim Report January–June 2016

STOCKHOLM--()--Regulatory News:

· Growth in number of customers remained strong in the second quarter. During the first six months the number of new customers was 49,300 and we surpassed our annual target of 46,760 new customers

· Net inflow in the second quarter was SEK 9,430 million, an increase by 116 per cent compared to the previous year. Compared to the first quarter, net inflow increased by 90 per cent

· Operating income in the second quarter amounted to SEK 225 million, a decrease by 1 per cent both Y/Y and compared to the first quarter 2016

· Operating expenses in the second quarter increased by 7 per cent compared to the previous year, primarily due to increased personnel costs. Compared to the first quarter, the expenses increased by 1 per cent to SEK 113 million

· Net profit for the second quarter was SEK 94 million, a decrease by 9 per cent compared to the previous year. Compared to the first quarter, net profit decreased by 4 per cent, mainly due to lower brokerage income and decreased net interest income

· After the end of the reporting period, Johan Prom was announced as new CEO of Avanza. He will take over the position by 1 January 2017, at the latest. Henrik Källén remains as Acting CEO until then

Interim report, 2016-07-13, 08:15 CEST

  Q22016   Q1 2016   Change%   Q2 2015   Change%   Jan–Jun 2016   Jan–Jun 2015   Change%
Operating income, SEK m 225 226 –1 227 –1 451 449 0
Operating expenses, SEK m –113 –112 1 –106 7 –225 –213 6
Operating profit, SEK m 111 115 –3 121 –8 226 236 –4
Net profit, SEK m 94 98 –4 104 –9 192 203 –6
Earnings per share, SEK 3.18 3.35 –5 3.57 –11 6.53 7.00 –7
Operating margin, % 49 51 –2 53 –4 50 53 –3
Net inflow, SEK m 9,430 4,960 90 4,370 116 14,400 14,400 0
No. new customers (net) 23,100 26,200 –12 20,500 13 49,300 52,300 –6
Savings capital at the end of the period, SEK m 199,200 188,900 5 170,000 17 199,200 170,000 17

Quarterly highlights

· Launched, as first institute in Sweden, free stock trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange for customers with a savings capital of less than SEK 50,000

· Welcomed Tobii, which chose Avanza’s occupational pensions for their employees

· Served as principal advisor in the largest IPO in Avanza’s history – Paradox Interactive

· Cut mortgage rate for Private Banking customers to 0.79 per cent from 0.99 per cent

· Consolidated top ranking in consumer trust among banks in Sweden in the annual Reputational Survey 2016

· Won “Life Insurance Company of the Year” and “Marketing Achievement of the Year” for 2015 at the Insurance Awards, arranged by Risk & Försäkring magazine

· Won the award for Best Service in the Financial Service Industry from ServiceScore, for the second consecutive year

· Avanza’s savings economist Claes Hemberg was named “Personal Finance Commentator of the Year” in the Financial Awards 2016

Comments of the CEO

Strong customer growth and high trading activity despite market turmoil

Growth prospects were challenging during the first-half-year. The Stockholm Stock Exchange continued downward in the second quarter due to uncertainty before and after the Brexit referendum. Volatility generally decreased, though not in the second half of June in connection with the referendum. Market fluctuations and negative interest rates have made it tough to generate a return on savings. Normally, in these conditions savers will stay on the sidelines. And yet 49,300 new customers chose Avanza in the first half-year, which means we have already surpassed our annual target and that our efforts are attracting more customers – especially younger ones. The net inflow of SEK 14,400 million is strong considering the turbulent savings market. In such times, the net inflow from existing customers tends to decline, as evidenced in the first quarter. During the second quarter, with lower volatility, the net inflow increased from existing customers. Over a half million savers have now chosen Avanza and our total savings capital amounts to SEK 199 billion, which we are proud of.

High trading activity but smaller transactions affected brokerage income

Operating income for the second quarter amounted to SEK 111 million, a decrease from both the first quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2015. The number of commission notes remained high but decreased from the first quarter’s record number. At the same time the average commission per note fell as more customers trade smaller amounts. The market for corporate transactions received a boost in the early summer and Avanza was involved in a number of public offerings, including as principal advisor in the IPO of the gaming company Paradox Interactive. It is our largest IPO so far, proving that Avanza is a good alternative also for larger transactions. The occupational pension business continues to grow at a solid pace and we welcomed Tobii as a new occupational partner during the quarter. The repo rate cut in February, coupled with a lower mortgage rate, kept pressure on net interest income.

Our business model is based on scalability and being better, easier and less expensive than the competition. This is driving the customer inflow and inflow of new capital, which in turn is driving income. Our cost position is thus critical. During the second quarter, the costs to savings capital ratio fell from 24 to 23 basis points. This gives us a competitive edge and provides a good starting point for further growth.

Price leadership strengthens Avanza’s position

Avanza Zero – our fund with no fees – is now 10 years old and has nearly SEK 13 billion under management and over 280,000 fund savers. Compared with the average fees charged by other Swedish index funds, Avanza Zero has saved customers nearly SEK 200 million in fees so far. The Portfolio Generator tool, which was launched a year ago, has already helped over 25,000 customers to invest over SEK 1 billion in various funds based on their risk tolerance. Another sign that our efforts to create a better, easier and less expensive alternative for Swedish savers are working is the annual Reputational Survey. The results were announced during the quarter and Avanza reinforced its first-place position as the Swedish bank with the highest consumer trust. In addition, Avanza was included on the list of Sweden’s most purposeful digital brands in the Purpose Brands survey for 2016.

We continue to improve our offering. In April, we launched our new stock list, which makes it easier to choose stocks based on each individual’s investment strategy. In May, we introduced brokerage class “Start”, commission-free trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, to get more people interested in stocks and starting saving. The reception has been positive, as demonstrated by the increased customer inflow. We have also improved our mobile services for app users, who can now make direct deposits from other banks through the app.

Full speed ahead!

To maintain strong growth and attract broader customer groups, with younger savers as well as those who need more support, we continue to improve our digital support tools and mobile services. We continue to operate more efficiently in order to improve scalability and quality. The rate of innovation going forward will be critical as digitisation and new regulations in the financial industry create exciting opportunities for Avanza at the same time that the competition from established players and niche Fintech companies grows.

On 8 July, Avanza announced its new CEO, Johan Prom. Johan joins Avanza with extensive experience in consumer products and to meet customers’ growing and varying demands. Johan will begin at the latest on 1 January 2017. We warmly welcome him!

Stockholm, 13 July 2016

Henrik Källén, Acting CEO Avanza

This information is information that Avanza Bank Holding AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 08.15 (CEST) on 13 July 2016.

This Interim Report is published in Swedish and English. In the event of any difference between the English version and the Swedish original, the Swedish version shall prevail.

Avanza is an Internet bank founded in 1999. The Parent Company, Avanza Bank Holding AB (publ), is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Avanza’s customer promise is a better return on your savings than with any other bank or insurance company in Sweden – due to low fees. Services include saving in shares, funds, savings accounts and a strong pension offering. Avanza has more than 500,000 customers and nearly SEK 200 billion in total savings capital. This is equivalent to just over 2.9 percent of the Swedish savings market. Avanza is the leader in terms of number of transactions and turnover for Swedish banks on the Stockholm Stock Exchange including First North. During the last six years Avanza has won SKI’s (Swedish Quality Index) award, “Year’s Most Satisfied Savings Customers”. For more information visit: http://www.avanza.com

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

Contacts

Avanza
Henrik Källén, Acting CEO
Telephone: +46 (0) 70 861 80 25
or
Birgitta Hagenfeldt, CFO
Telephone: +46 (0)73 661 80 04
or
Sofia Svavar, Head of IR
Telephone: +46 (0)8 409 420 17

Contacts

Avanza
Henrik Källén, Acting CEO
Telephone: +46 (0) 70 861 80 25
or
Birgitta Hagenfeldt, CFO
Telephone: +46 (0)73 661 80 04
or
Sofia Svavar, Head of IR
Telephone: +46 (0)8 409 420 17