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Interim Report January-March 2003

Result supported by lowest cost level since 1999
 
  • Operating result* SEK 1,792 M, 5 per cent lower than Q1 2002 on comparable basis
  • Total income SEK 6,579 M, a decrease of 5 per cent on comparable basis
  • Total costs SEK 4,551 M, down by 5 per cent on comparable basis
  • Annualised costs further reduced to SEK 19.5 billion
  • Credit losses remained at low level
  • Return on equity 10.9 per cent (12.4) and earnings per share SEK 1.81 (1.98)
  • Strong sales in the Group's retail divisions.
 
* Includes pension compensation of SEK 161 M (294). Statutory operating profit (excluding pension compensation) amounted to SEK 1,631 M (1,722).
 
Comment by CEO Lars H Thunell:
 
"In the result for the first quarter we now see the effects of our change programme 3 C also in the areas of cross servicing and customer satisfaction. This has resulted in strong sales in all our markets, with increased volumes especially of mortgage loans and net inflow into our funds. Merchant Banking, SEB Baltic & Poland, our retail banking activities in Sweden and the card business report strong results. The poor development of the stock markets compared to last year has of course had a negative effect on Private Banking, Enskilda Securities and SEB Asset Management. The weak economic situation in Germany has adversely affected the revenues of our German retail operations, while the German merchant banking operations reported significantly improved results."
 
"In 2001, we set the target to lower our annual costs from SEK 22.5 billion to SEK 20 billion by the first quarter of 2003. We have succeeded better than planned and our annualised costs are now below SEK 19.5 billion. We will continue our change programme and remain strongly focused on improving operating efficiency."
 
Operating result down 5 per cent
 
Operating result amounted to SEK 1,792 M (2,016 in the corresponding period 2002). Adjusted for one-off items, acquisitions and currency translation differences, affecting comparability, the operating result decreased by 5 per cent. Compared with the last quarter of 2002 operating result fell by 4 per cent.
 
Net profit (after tax) decreased by 10 per cent to SEK 1,260 M (1,393).
 
Lower income in several areas
 
Total income amounted to SEK 6,579 M (7,048), a decrease of 5 per cent from the corresponding period last year on a comparable basis.
 
Net interest income was stable at SEK 3,377 M (3,341). Increased volumes in lending (especially mortgage loans) and deposits had a positive effect, while reduced margins due to low interest rate levels and the introduction of high yield savings accounts had a negative impact on the outcome.
 
Net commission income decreased by 5 per cent to SEK 2,440 M (2,582), chiefly due to poorer stock market conditions compared to the first quarter of 2002. On 31 March 2003, The Swedish SAX Index was 40 per cent lower than one year earlier. Compared with last quarter of 2002, net commission income was virtually unchanged.
 
Net result of financial transactions amounted to SEK 490 M (654). The comparison with the first quarter of 2002 was mainly affected by lower results within Corporate & Institutions.
 
Other income amounted to SEK 272 M (471). The decrease was mainly due to lower capital gains compared to the first quarter of 2002 (SEK 280 M).
 
Costs down by 5 per cent
 
Total costs amounted to SEK 4,551 M (4,811), a decrease of 5 per cent from the corresponding period last year on a comparable basis in spite of lower pension compensation. Compared with last quarter of 2002, the decrease was 3 per cent. Total costs including SEB Trygg Liv amounted to approximately SEK 19.5 billion on a yearly basis. The SEK 20 billion cost target for the first quarter of 2003 was already met in 2002.
 
Staff costs, gross, decreased by 3 per cent to SEK 2,826 M (2,899). The outcome is a combination of a decrease of more than 1,000 full time employees on average, lower performance-related compensation and agreed salary increases for 2003. Compensation from pension funds has decreased to SEK 161 M (294).
 
The introduction of new accounting principles, RR 29 (IAS 19), in Sweden from 2004 will have an impact on calculated pension costs for Swedish companies. Throughout this year, companies with a surplus in their pension funds can be compensated for their pension-related costs. The new rules stipulate that the pension funds must be consolidated into the balance sheet, while the expected return on pension funds must be taken into the Profit and Loss accounts to counterbalance pension related costs. This means that pension fund surplus as such will have less importance in the new system (from 2004). The lower pension compensation this quarter reflects SEB's view that the new system will, at least short term, have a less positive effect on net staff costs than with the current system. SEB is continuing to analyse the new system and its implications.
 
The average number of full time equivalents in March was 18,388, a reduction by approximately 1,700 since June 2001, which was the basis for SEB's cost reduction programme.
 
Other operating costs totalled SEK 1,886 M (2,206). External costs for IT amounted to SEK 374 M (445). Total IT-costs (defined as a calculated cost for all IT-related activities including costs for own personnel) were reduced to SEK 0.8 billion (0.9).
 
Stockholm, 8 May 2003
 
Lars H Thunell
 
President and Group Chief Executive
 
More detailed information is presented on www.seb.net. The "Additional information" includes:
Appendix 1 SEB Trygg Liv
Appendix 2 Credit exposure
Appendix 3 Capital base for the SEB financial group of undertakings
Appendix 4 Market risk
 
Operational Profit & Loss Account quarterly performance nine quarters
- The SEB Group
- Bridge between present and previous accounting principles
- The Divisions and business areas
- Revenue split
- One-off items
 
Statutory Profit & Loss Account etc
- The SEB Group
- Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
 
Further information is available from:
Gunilla Wikman, Head of Group Communications, +46 8 763 81 25, mobile +46 70 763 81 25
Per Anders Fasth, Head of Group Investor Relations, +46 8 763 95 66
 
Financial information during 2003:
13 February 2003 Annual Accounts 2002
9 April 2003 Annual General Meeting
8 May 2003 Interim Report January-March
14 August 2003 Interim Report January-June
22 October 2003 Interim Report January-September
 
This interim report has not been reviewed by the Auditors of the Bank.