"Our result 2010 reflects that corporate activity gained momentum towards the end of the year and that asset quality clearly improved following the Baltic stabilisation. Our position as the Relationship Bank is today stronger than before the turbulence of the last years, a merit to the long-term customer orientation which guided us in a difficult environment. Going forward, we are confident that we have the desired platform to grow from." says Annika Falkengren, SEB's President and CEO, commenting on today's interim report.
Operating profit for the fourth quarter isolated amounted to SEK 4,296m (756), 51 per cent up from the previous quarter.
Operating income at SEK 10,038m (9,220) increased by 13 per cent in the quarter. Net interest income increased by 8 per cent whereas net fee and commission income increased by 15 per cent compared to the prior quarter.
Operating expenses amounted to SEK 6,182m (5,376).
In the fourth quarter, SEB made a net release of provisions for credit losses of SEK 419m following the stabilisation in the Baltic countries. The Group's total reserve ratio at year-end was unchanged from a year ago: 69.2 per cent (69.5).
Return on equity was 14.6 per cent (1.6) for the quarter.
SEB has maintained stable and strong capital ratios. As at 31 December, the core Tier I capital ratio amounted to 12.2 per cent and the Tier I capital ratio to 14.2 per cent. The divestment of the German retail operation strengthened these capital ratios to 12.8 and 14.8, respectively.
The Board proposes a dividend of SEK 1.50 per share (1.00).
The divestment of the German retail operation was closed as of 31 January 2011. For comparative purposes, the Group's income statement has been restated as continuing and discontinued operations.
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For further information, please contact
Jan Erik Back, CFO, +46 8 22 19 00
Ulf Grunnesjö, Head of Investor Relations, +46 8 7638501; +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 8 763 85 60
Malin Schenkenberg, Financial Information Officer, +46 8 763 95 31
SEB is a leading Nordic financial services group. As a relationship bank, SEB in Sweden and the Baltic countries offers financial advice and a wide range of financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany the bank's operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and institutional clients. The international nature of SEB's business is reflected in its presence in 20 countries worldwide. On 31 December 2010, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 2,180bn while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,399bn. The Group has about 17,000 employees, excluding the German retail operations. Read more about SEB at www.sebgroup.com.