High and stable operating profit - SEK 3.9bn
Operating profit for the third quarter amounted to SEK 3,862m, an increase of 28 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter of 2005 and in line with the previous quarter. Net profit (i.e. profit after tax) increased to SEK 3,059m.
Revenues significantly higher than last year and almost in line with the previous quarter despite lower customer activity levels due to normal seasonal effects.
Costs lower than in recent quarters.
Operating profit for January-September 2006 increased by 32 per cent, to SEK 11,438m. Net profit rose by 36 per cent, to SEK 8,833m.
Return on equity was 19.9 per cent (16.5) and earnings per share increased to SEK 13.13 (9.71). Cost/income ratio improved to 0.59 (0.62).
Increased sales efforts with several new product offerings in order to further improve customer satisfaction.
SEB's long-term rating upgraded to A+ from A by Standard & Poor's.
SEB's quarterly net profit exceeded SEK 3bn for the first time. Return on equity was close to 20 per cent and profit growth remained strong. Even though costs were higher than last year they were down for the third consecutive quarter - our efforts to improve operational efficiency continue.
A strong business climate in combination with SEB's diversified platform in terms of business-mix and geography has proved successful. On an overall basis business volumes remained on a high level, with stable margins. Eastern European Banking and Life both reached higher profit levels. Asset Management and Merchant Banking showed robust results. Nordic Retail & Private Banking continued to launch easy and accessible products. The division's result was affected by lower market activity levels during the summer months. Results of the German division remained on a low level.
The 150 year anniversary has created many opportunities to meet with our customers and strengthen business relations.
SEB's aim is to be leading in terms of customer satisfaction and financial performance. Customer satisfaction has improved and we continue towards the target to become No. 1 within all chosen segments. As regards financial performance, we are moving in the right direction, manifested by increased return on equity, profit growth and improved credit rating. The next step in creating "One SEB" is to integrate business in order to reach the long-term targets. The new structure, as presented in September - four customer driven divisions and three support functions - will further develop SEB's customer offerings, increase efficiency and facilitate continued profit growth within the Group's areas of strength.
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