Strong start to the year: comdirect generates €27.4m pre-tax profit in the first quarter of 2017
- Pre-tax return on equity: 18.6%
- Record growth in assets under management to €80bn: €4.3bn increase, of which €1.8bn is net fund inflows
- Outlook for Q2: Digital asset management, call-up of equity prices via Alexa, new corporate design for onvista
Quickborn. The comdirect group closed the first quarter of 2017 with a pre-tax profit of €27.4m. This led to a result that was 16% up on the previous year (€23.7m). Pre-tax return on equity rose to 18.6% (previous year: 17.1%). “Despite persistent, historically low market interest rates, we have achieved a strong result, are growing dynamically and are developing strategically on a consistent basis – with our attention constantly fixed on being the top address in saving, investing and trading with securities”, says comdirect bank AG’s CEO Arno Walter. “We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to invest in asset accumulation with securities, whether with our new intuitive custody account overview, the convenient call-up of equity prices via Alexa, or with digital asset management, which we will be launching mid-May.”
Total income in the first three months amounted to €90.1m, 1.6% above that of the same quarter in the previous year (€88.7m). The earnings are primarily affected by the net commission income, which at €59.1m, exceeded the previous year’s value (€54.9m) by 7.8%. While at 3.7 million the number of B2C trades in the first quarter of 2017 was below the record number of the previous year (4.0 million), both the composition of the trades and the high average order volume were more profitable. On the other hand, the rise in portfolio volume, resulting from price effects and net inflows, brought greater sales follow-up commission from the funds business. In view of the continued difficult interest rate environment, net interest income after provisions for possible loan losses fell to €24.5m (previous year: €32.0m). Other earnings of €6.5m contributed to the growth in earnings. This is primarily the result of a positive result from financial investments.
Another reason for the strong result is the flexible and conscious management of costs and investments in this challenging market environment. Administrative expenses were lowered by 3.5% to €62.7m (previous year: €65.0m).
The total number of comdirect group customers climbed to 3.13 million in the first quarter, up 17 thousand. Total assets under management increased by €4.3bn to the record level of €80.03bn. Net fund inflows in the group totalled €1.8bn, of which €1.3bn went to securities custody accounts alone. “Ever more customers are doing ever more securities business with us,” says Walter. “This is exactly how it should continue. After all, securities investment is essential in the long-term accumulation of wealth.”
From mid-May, comdirect will be offering digital asset management, which customers can use to invest amounts from €3,000. In the process, the customers answer some questions and subsequently receive an investment proposal tailored to them. They then select whether to make their own choices to buy or sell securities, to make investment decisions using a fully automated advice service, or to delegate the investment entirely to comdirect. “We are convinced that this will offer all investor types the product best suited to them. The future of investment is digital,” says Walter.
Furthermore, comdirect will shortly be one of the first banks to offer its own skill for the real-time call-up stock exchange prices via Alexa. Using Amazon’s digital speech assistant, a total of over 10,000 equity prices can be called up worldwide. According to Walter, “Speech assistants herald a new era in the digitalisation of banking business, since they dovetail smoothly with users’ daily experience.” By offering this, comdirect is making another step in the direction of becoming a smart financial companion, with which customers save time and money, making their lives just a little bit easier.
The number of customers in the B2C business line (comdirect bank AG) increased by 16 thousand to 2.10 million in the first quarter. Over the same period, the number of custody accounts also rose by 16 thousand to 1.02 million and the number of current accounts increased by 22 thousand to 1.38 million. Total assets under management grew to €48.65bn, compared with €46.00bn at the end of 2016. “The acquisition of onvista AG concluded at the beginning of April is accelerating our growth even further. We are obtaining around €3bn in assets under management and around 100 thousand actively trading customers. In addition, we are increasing our reach with securities customers via onvista.de, one of the most successful financial platforms on the German market,” explains Walter. The next step will involve gradually transforming the entire image of onvista by giving it a new corporate design. A more modern, fresher look for onvista has been derived based on the comdirect group’s existing design.
At around 1.04 million, the number of customers in the B2B business line (ebase GmbH) remained virtually unchanged in the first quarter. The closures of custody accounts for capital-building payments usual in the spring were approximately compensated for by new business. As of the end of the first quarter, total assets under management increased to €31.38bn (end of 2016: €29.75bn).
More information on the new corporate design for onvista can be found at www.comdirect.de/presse
|Net interest income after provisions
|Net commission income