10 Feb 2010 07:30

Fourth quarter 2009: Pre-provision income SEK 3,748m (5,730) - balance sheet strengthened

"SEB's result for the fourth quarter is a proof of the merits of diversified business mix and long-term customer relationship. Positive developments in net fee and commission income and net life insurance income brought this quarter's operating profit above the third quarter level while net interest income declined.
During the year, we have established a strong financial position. ", says Annika Falkengren, SEB's President and CEO, commenting on today's interim report.

SEB's profit before provisions for credit losses in the fourth quarter 2009 amounted to SEK 3,748m , a decrease of 35 per cent compared with the corresponding strong quarter of 2008 (5,730). In comparison with the previous quarter (3,720), profit before provisions was up by 1 per cent. Operating profit for the quarter was SEK 564m (4,028).

Operating income amounted to SEK 9,874m, a decrease of 22 per cent compared with the last quarter of 2008. The decline was largely due to the lower Net interest income, negatively affected by additional costs for the extended funding duration, falling deposit margins and lower return on the bond investment portfolio. In relation to the previous quarter, operating income rose by 1 per cent.

Operating expenses amounted to SEK 6,126m, a decrease of 12 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008 and up by 2 per cent from the third quarter.

Provisions for credit losses amounted to SEK 3,160m, of which the Baltic countries accounted for SEK 2,588m or 82 per cent. The credit loss level was 0.93 per cent (0.62). The Group's total reserve ratio was 69.5 per cent.

Core Tier I capital ratio was 11.7 per cent and Tier I capital ratio13.9 per cent.

The Board proposes a dividend of SEK 1.00 per share (no dividend in 2008).

SEB is a North European financial group serving some 400,000 corporate customers and institutions and five million private individuals. SEB offers universal banking services in Sweden, Germany and the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It also has local presence in the other Nordic countries, Ukraine and Russia and a global presence through its international network in major financial centres. On 31 December 2009, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 2,308bn while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,356bn. The Group has about 20,000 employees. Read more about SEB at www.sebgroup.com.

For further information, please contact:

Jan Erik Back, CFO, +46 8 22 19 00
Ulf Grunnesjö, Head of Investor Relations, +46 8 763 85 01; +46 70 763 85 01
Viveka Hirdman-Ryrberg, Head of Corporate Communication, +46 6 763 85 77, +46 70 550 35 00
Annika Halldin, Senior Financial Information Officer, +46 763 85 60; +46 70 379 00 60