BRE Bank Group generated a net profit of more than PLN 330 million in Q1 2012. The steady growth in income combined with a strict cost discipline ensured better effectiveness. The cost/income ratio decreased to 42.8 percent while ROE net stabilised at 16.3 percent.
“Positive trends initiated last year continued in Q1 2012. We are still focusing on organic growth based on expansion of the customer base, both in retail and in corporate banking,” said BRE Bank CEO Cezary Stypułkowski. “The Bank is profitable and well equipped with capital. Combined with strong client focus of our Bank, this lays the foundation for the achievement of our ambitious goals,” said Mr Stypułkowski.Income of BRE Bank Group increased by close to 3 percent in Q1 and stood at PLN 916.3 million. A minor decrease of interest income (by 5.3 percent quarter on quarter) mainly due to the appreciation of the zloty was offset by a much more dynamic growth of fee and commission income (up by 8.4 percent).Thanks to maintained cautious risk management policy, the cost of risk fell further to 67 basis points, as compared to 72 bp last year. The capital ratios remained strong and safe. CAR (capital adequacy ratio) was 16.94 percent (14.95 percent at 2011 year-end) and Core Tier I was 11.62 percent (9.59 percent after Q4 2011).Mr Jarosław Mastalerz, who was responsible for Retail Banking, became Management Board Member for Operations and IT as of 1 April. Mr Cezary Kocik took over Mr Mastalerz’s former Retail Banking responsibilities. Mr Jörg Hessenmüller is Management Board Member and CFO, replacing Karin Katerbau as of 16 April. Corporate and Investment BankingThe pre-tax profit of the Corporate and Investment Banking segment was PLN 179 million in Q1 2012, an increase of more than 45 percent. The pre-tax profit of the Corporate Banking business line increased by over PLN 37 million quarter on quarter and stood at over PLN 121 million. BRE’s Corporate Banking was actively acquiring new customers in Q1 2012: 437 corporate customers were acquired, and as a result the corporate customer base reached 14.4 thousand companies, another record-high number quarter by quarter.“Active presence in the customer segments and development of the corporate banking network produce tangible results,” said Przemysław Gdański, BRE Bank Management Board Member responsible for Corporate Banking. “Polish companies are looking for banks which can do more than finance their business. Confidence and service quality also count. Partnership with customers is our asset,” said Mr Gdański. In the first months of 2012, BRE Bank was the first market player to offer fuel price hedging to customers. With the new instrument, customers can buy diesel oil at a fixed price over a predefined period. Previously, Polish companies could only hedge against the rise of oil prices, denominated in foreign currencies, which did not reflect the actual changes of retail fuel prices.Furthermore, small and medium-sized enterprises can use BRE Bank’s guarantees under the simplified EFFECT Package procedure as of March 2012. The Bank also provides corporate customers with macroeconomic analyses available as text messages. mBank has launched a touchless payment card with the image of the National Stadium in Warsaw; the card is available at events organised at the Stadium.Retail BankingRetail Banking generated more than 55 percent of BRE Bank Group’s total pre-tax profit in Q1 2012. The pre-tax profit of Retail Banking stood at PLN 227.3 million, modestly less than in Q4 2011 (down by 0.3 percent). The two brands mBank and MultiBank acquired 55 thousand new customers in Q1 2012, approaching the mark of 4 million customers (currently 3.95 million customers). “The first three months of the year were another very successful period for BRE’s Retail Banking. State-of-the-art services attract new customers and encourage existing customers to further develop their relations with the Bank,” said Cezary Kocik, BRE Bank Management Board Member responsible for Retail Banking. “I am glad that we made a considerable contribution to the results of the Bank once again,” said Mr Kocik. In late March, BRE Bank announced the launch of the “New mBank” Project. The ambitious goal is to create one of the world’s prime online banking platforms. BRE will invest PLN 100 million in the project. The new platform will eventually replace the existing platform. Users will have access to a new intuitive transaction service and personal finance management system; video-chats will eliminate the need for personal visits to the Bank’s locations.