Hellenic Bank post €76.4 mln profit in Q3

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Hellenic Bank announced a net profit of €76.4 million for the first nine months to September due to higher revenue and lower costs.

According to the Group Financial Results for the nine months, there is a solid capital position with a Pro forma CET1 ratio of circa 18.7% and a Capital adequacy ratio of circa 21%, significantly above minimum regulatory requirements.

The bank also noted its “de-risked balance sheet”, saying that its pro forma NPE ratio was 10.2% while excluding the NPEs covered by the APS agreement, it was at circa 3.8%.

As for Project Starlight, the agreement to sell €0.7 billion NPEs and the APS Debt Servicer, is expected to be completed in early 2023.

Hellenic Bank highlighted that its 2022-2024 Strategic Plan to transform and address structural challenges is on track, focusing on digitalisation and cost control, with the successful completion of the voluntary early exit scheme (VEES) with 450 employees leaving.

Petros Arsalides, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Despite the challenging period, during the first nine months of the year, the country has experienced a strong economic rebound with a 5.4% GDP growth for the third quarter of 2022.

“COVID-19-related side effects significantly subsided, but market volatility remains high, fuelled mainly by the uncertainty that the continuing crisis in Ukraine creates and the high inflation rates.”

He added that Hellenic Bank has delivered “yet again an excellent set of financial results” and said the profit of €76.4 million reported in Q3 mainly reflects “higher income and loan impairment reversals, while our net interest income reached the €205.9 million.”

“With a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21.42%, well above the regulatory requirements, and ample liquidity (Liquidity Coverage Ratio of 470%), we are committed and simultaneously well positioned to continue supporting our retail and business customers during this challenging period.”

According to Arsalides, financing sectors such as health, education, energy, ICT, hospitality, transportation, and shipping remain a high priority to the bank, while during the first nine months, €0.8 billion of new loans were granted, up by 29% year on year.

He said the 3-year transformation journey is “on track to address structural challenges” and “unleash hidden potential”, while the bank is transforming into a customer-centric organisation by improving customer experience through alternative channels, streamlining procedures and offering simple and competitive products.

“We focus on digitalisation and cost control while enhancing the profile of our loan book through healthy growth with a strong focus on Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG)”.

Another key highlight is a net interest income of €205.9 million, while total new lending implemented during the same period reached €0.8 billion.

NPEs’ provision coverage ratio stands at 54% as of 30 September, and a cost-to-income ratio of 74% for the year’s first nine months.

The bank also reported an ample liquidity position, with a Liquidity Coverage Ratio of 470%, a liquidity surplus in LCR of €6.6 billion, and €5.2 billion placed at the ECB, positioning the Hellenic to benefit from rising interest rates.

“There is a net loan to deposits ratio of 40%, enabling further business expansion.”