comdirect: very strong pre-tax profit of €76.2m for the first nine months of the year
- Record earnings: €283m in the first nine months
- Trading activity at peak level: 11 million B2C trades
- Dynamic growth in current and custody accounts
- High B2C net fund inflow of €2.8bn
- Profit target for the full-year 2015 increased to more than €85m before tax
- First bank with an entirely digital account-opening and account-switching process
Quickborn. The comdirect group realised a pre-tax profit of €76.2m in the first nine months of 2015, which was a 17% increase on the high level achieved in the previous year (€64.9m). “This is a very strong result with top figures for earnings, trades and customer numbers – and no sign of a summer low,” says Arno Walter, CEO of comdirect bank AG. “On this basis, we have increased our profit target to in excess of €85m before tax.”
The comdirect group generated total income of €282.9m in the first nine months of the year. This represents growth of 8% on the previous year’s record figure (€261.4m). The reason for this further increase was the number of trades with B2C customers, which were up 38% on the previous year at 11 million transactions (previous year: 8.0 million). “Our customers executed an unprecedented volume of trades. In the first nine months of the year, we handled almost as many trades as in the entire previous year, which was a particularly good trading year,” says Walter. “As the market leader for online brokerage with products and services for traders and investors which have once again been enhanced, we benefited very strongly from the volatile stock market environment.” Net commission income thus rose sharply, by 23% to €174.8m (previous year: €142.5m) and reached the highest nine-month value in the bank’s history. With market interest rates which remain extremely low, net interest income after provisions for possible loan losses was down 7% year-on-year at €101.8m (€109.2m). The moderate (5%) increase in administrative expenses to €206.7m (previous year: €196.4m) was mainly prompted by the bank’s strong growth.
In the B2C business line (comdirect bank AG), total assets under custody increased to €37.01bn in the first nine months of the year (end of 2014: €34.75bn) – despite an exclusively price-related decrease in the third quarter. This increase reflected particularly high net fund inflows totalling €2.8bn. Since the start of the year, the number of customers has increased by 64 thousand to 1.97 million. At the same time, the number of custody accounts has risen by 47 thousand to 926 thousand while the number of current accounts has increased by 78 thousand to 1.24 million. Walter comments: “We are thus currently one of the strongest growing banks, both for custody accounts and current accounts, in an otherwise stagnating overall market. To maintain this position, we are continuing to re-envision banking for our customers and making their lives a little easier.” By way of an example, he cites the bank’s new “Sofort-Konto” account which customers can open in just a few minutes, anytime and anywhere. Walter adds: “comdirect is the first and only bank in Germany to have established an entirely digital account-opening and account-switching process.”
In the third quarter, comdirect introduced further new offerings through its cooperation with FinTech companies: from smartPay, an app for the easy payment of bills, and TopTrade, the social trading platform for smartphones, to fintego managed Depot, the digital asset management system from ebase. comdirect is also the first bank in Germany to promote innovative financial ideas through a specifically established Start-Up Garage. Start-ups can bring their ideas directly to comdirect, and will then receive support in developing and testing them. Walter explains: “The Start-up Garage is a workshop for developing ideas, which offers customers real added value. At the same time, it helps us to promote the indigenous FinTech sector. This fits well with comdirect, as just like FinTech companies, comdirect’s DNA is digital through and through.”
In the B2B business line (ebase GmbH), the number of customers remained virtually unchanged compared with the start of the year at 979.5 thousand (year-end 2014: 982.9 thousand). The vital new customer business has compensated well for the seasonally-determined cancellations of custody accounts for capital-building payments (VL). Total assets under custody amounted to €23.75bn, compared with €24.19bn at the end of the year.
The comdirect group’s total number of customers increased to a record high of 2.95 million at the end of the first nine months of the year and its total assets under custody rose to €60.76bn (year-end: €58.94bn).
|in € thousand||Q3 14||Q4 14||Q1 15||Q2 15||Q3 15|
|Net interest income after provisions||37,407||36,358||35,179||33,771||32,869|
|Net commission income||47,139||50,651||60,519||55,596||58,659|
|in € thousand||9M 14||9M 15||9M 15 vs 9M 14|
|Net interest income after provisions||109,166||101,819||-6.7 %|
|Net commission income||142,499||174,774||22.6 %|
|Other income||9,723||6,292||-35.3 %|
|Administrative expenses||196,444||206,702||5.2 %|
|Pre-tax profit||64,944||76,183||17.3 %|
|After-tax profit||47,817||55,493||16.1 %|