DGAP-News: UniCredit Bank Austria AG: Bank Austria posts net profit of EUR 776 million for the first half of 2014

DGAP-News: UniCredit Bank Austria AG: Bank Austria posts net profit of EUR 776 
million for the first half of 2014 

DGAP-News: UniCredit Bank Austria AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results
UniCredit Bank Austria AG: Bank Austria posts net profit of EUR 776
million for the first half of 2014

06.08.2014 / 10:05

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Corporate News

Date of entry: 6 August 2014

Bank Austria's results1 for the first six months of 2014:
Bank Austria posts net profit of EUR 776 million for the first half of 2014

  - Stable operating performance from customer business reflects weak
    credit demand, low market interest rates and exchange rate effects

      - Lending volume totals EUR 118 billion, up by 1.9 per cent on
        year-end 2013 despite negative exchange rate effects; down by 1.7
        per cent compared with the end of June 2013. Growth driven by
        Central and Eastern Europe while credit demand in Austria is
        stagnating.

      - Customer deposits reach EUR 96 billion, an increase of 2.3 per cent
        over the previous year but a slight decline of 1.1 per cent
        compared with the end of 2013.

  - Bank levies and financial transaction taxes in Austria and CEE increase
    by 17 per cent year-on-year to a new record level of EUR 119 million,
    accounting for 7 per cent of total costs.

  - Operating costs down by 1.3 per cent thanks to strict cost management
    and business model transformation.

  - Net write-downs of loans significantly lower in Austria and CEE:
    provisioning charge down by 35.4 per cent to EUR 332 million.

  - Net profit rises by 34.3 per cent to EUR 776 million compared with the
    same period of the previous year.

  - Strong direct funding position: customer loans covered by customer
    deposits and debt securities in issue to the extent of over 100 per
    cent; loan/direct-funding ratio at a conservative 94.1 per cent

  - Total capital ratio improves to 13.8 per cent, Common Equity Tier 1
    capital ratio at an excellent 11.0 per cent

Bank Austria's CEO Willibald Cernko: "We have had a good second quarter,
with net profit for the first six months significantly higher than in the
same period of the previous year. This performance is mainly due to strict
cost management and excellent risk management. But it should not obscure
the fact that we are still facing major structural challenges. The total
charge for bank levies and financial transaction taxes has risen by 17 per
cent, increasingly offsetting our cost-saving measures. At the same time,
the persistently low market interest rate environment and restrained credit
demand continue to present us with challenges on the income side. We are
doing our homework, making very good progress with the transformation of
our business model in response to significant changes in customer
expectations. But what is also important now is for economic policy to
provide impetus to growth, and to inspire the general public and
businesspeople with greater optimism. This can only be achieved through
determined action to carry out reforms that are long overdue. In this
context it would be helpful if commentators stopped questioning the
soundness of Austrian banks' operations in Central and Eastern Europe -
despite all the challenges which we are currently facing. It should be
recognised that these operations are a success story which has strongly
benefited, and will continue to strongly benefit, our neighbouring
countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Austria's economy."

Items in the income statement (Footnote 1)

Net interest, at EUR 1,708 million, remained the most important income
component in the first half of 2014, despite the fact that the operating
environment continued to be determined by low interest rates. Net interest
was only 0.5 per cent down from the figure for the same period of the
previous year (H1 2013: EUR 1,716 million), due to exchange rate effects.
At constant exchange rates, net interest rose by 4.3 per cent compared with
the previous year.

Dividend income and other income from equity investments amounted to EUR
224 million, down by 27.6 per cent from the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 310
million). The decrease is attributable to a lower contribution from Turkey
on account of new regulatory requirements.

Net fees and commissions continued to develop favourably, with a slight
increase of 0.6 per cent to EUR 675 million (H1 2013: EUR 671 million).

Net trading, hedging and fair value income was EUR 250 million, down by
20.3 per cent from the same period of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 313
million).

Overall, operating income totalled EUR 2,907 million, down by 4.4 per cent
from the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 3,041 million). At constant exchange
rates, operating income showed a stable development, compared with the
first six months of 2013.

Operating costs declined by 1.3 per cent to EUR 1,657 million (H1 2013: EUR
1,679 million), thanks to strict cost management and despite the higher
charge for bank levies and financial transaction taxes; at constant
exchange rates, operating costs were up by 1.1 per cent.

The total charge for bank levies and financial transaction taxes in Austria
and CEE in the Bank Austria Group's income statement was EUR 119.3 million,
an increase of 17 per cent compared with the same period of the previous
year (H1 2013: EUR 102.0 million). Bank levies and financial transaction
taxes accounted for 15.6 per cent of administrative expenses and 7.2 per
cent of total costs.

In Austria, the bank levy totalled EUR 61.9 million. In CEE, the total
charge for bank levies and financial transaction taxes (in Hungary and
Slovenia) was EUR 57.4 million, of which EUR 50.8 million was payable in
Hungary, EUR 3.3 million in Slovakia, EUR 1.6 million in Slovenia and EUR
1.7 million in Romania.

At EUR 1,250 million, operating profit was down by 8.2 per cent from the
previous year, mainly due to exchange rate effects; adjusted for exchange
rate movements, operating profit was only 1.3 per cent lower than for the
same period of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 1,362 million). Without the
higher charge for bank levies and financial transaction taxes, operating
profit even rose slightly, reflecting a stable development of operating
performance.

Net write-downs of loans and provisions for guarantees and commitments in
the first six months of 2014 were EUR 332 million, down by 35.4 per cent
from the same period of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 514 million). The
provisioning charge in Austrian customer business declined significantly,
by 72.4 per cent to EUR 32 million (H1 2013: EUR 115 million) as a result
of higher releases of provisions previously made for impaired loans and a
lower new volume of impaired loans. In Central and Eastern Europe, net
write-downs of loans and provisions for guarantees and commitments also
declined by a substantial 24.9 per cent to EUR 300 million (H1 2013: EUR
400 million), due to higher releases of provisions in several countries,
especially in Croatia. Overall, the cost of risk (net write-downs of loans
as a proportion of the average volume of loans to customers) declined from
86 basis points in the first half of 2013 to 58 basis points in the first
six months of 2014.

Net operating profit - i.e. operating profit less net write-downs of loans
and provisions for guarantees and commitments, the key measure of operating
performance - for the first six months of 2014 rose by 8.2 per cent
(adjusted for exchange rate movements, plus 17.6 per cent) to EUR 918
million (H1 2013: EUR 848 million).

In the first six months of 2014, the balance of non-operating
income/expenses, i.e. the income statement items between net operating
profit and profit before tax, was net income of EUR 17 million; this
compares with a net expense of EUR 105 million in the same period of the
previous year. The favourable development was mainly due to the fact that
additions to provisions for risks and charges, at EUR 31 million, were
substantially lower than in the same period of the previous year (H1 2013:
EUR 97 million); in this context provisions had to be made especially for
the recent measures in connection with foreign currency loans in Hungary.
Moreover, net income from investments included gains on the sale of real
estate, which had been recorded in the first quarter of 2014.

Profit before tax for the first half of 2014 was EUR 935 million, up by
25.8 per cent on the same period of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 743
million). Profit for the period was EUR 809 million, 29.1 per cent higher
than in the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 626 million). After deduction of
non-controlling interests and goodwill impairment, net profit (attributable
to the owners of the parent company) increased by EUR 198 million or 34.3
per cent to EUR 776 million (H1 2013: EUR 578 million).

The following key financial data have been calculated on the basis of the
above-mentioned results:
  - The cost/income ratio excluding bank levies was 53.7 per cent (H1 2013:
    52.4 per cent).

  - The risk/earnings ratio (net write-downs of loans as a percentage of
    net interest income) declined to 17.2 per cent (H1 2013: 25.4 per
    cent).

  - The total capital ratio (based on all risks) increased to 13.8 per
    cent.

  - The Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio (based on all risks) was 11.0
    per cent.

Francesco Giordano, CFO of Bank Austria: "Bank Austria's financial position
is strong and sound. Its total capital ratio is 13.8 per cent and Common
Equity Tier 1 capital ratio is an excellent 11.0 per cent. We also further
reduced the leverage ratio (Footnote 2) to a very conservative 11.6, which
reflects our strong equity capital position and our conservative business
model. Moreover, we further improved our liquidity position through an
increase in deposits and three successful bond issues. Bank Austria's
loan/direct-funding ratio is 94.1 per cent. This means that customer loans
are covered by customer deposits and debt securities in issue to the extent
of over 100 per cent."

Results of the Divisions 
Bank Austria reports its results in four Divisions: Retail & Corporates,
Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), Private Banking, and Central Eastern
Europe (CEE). The bank also shows results for the Corporate Center.

The Retail & Corporates Division's profit before tax for the first six
months of 2014 was EUR 134 million, a substantial increase of 51.6 per cent
(H1 2013: EUR 89 million). The improvement resulted from stable operating
income in an environment of persistently low interest rates, and from a
reduction of operating costs through strict cost management, despite a
higher charge for the bank levy compared with the previous year. Improved
asset quality in retail banking and a stable provisioning charge in
corporate banking made significant contributions to profit growth because
net write-downs of loans and provisions for guarantees and commitments were
significantly lower than in the same period of the previous year. The
cost/income ratio continued to improve, to a current level of 72.3 per cent
(H1 2013: 73.5 per cent).

The Private Banking Division achieved a significant increase of 18.2 per
cent in its profit before tax for the first half of 2014, which rose to EUR
23 million (H1 2013: EUR 19 million). Higher net interest and significant
growth in asset management were the main drivers of the 8.2 per cent
increase in operating income. The Division's strategy of focusing on these
activities has thus proved successful. The cost/income ratio improved to
70.1 per cent (H1 2013: 73.4 per cent).

Profit before tax generated by the Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB)
Division in the first six months of 2014 was EUR 139 million, up by 2.8 per
cent on the same period of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR 135 million). In
the first half year of 2014 Corporate & Investment Banking continued being
at the forefront of Euro bond emissions as well as structured financing,
both in Austria and in Europe. The increase in profit before tax compared
with the previous year is mainly due to a net release of provisions and
good asset quality of the loan portfolio. Operating profit reflected weak
demand in the market, a higher charge for the bank levy and additional IT
expenses. The cost/income ratio remained low, at 44.1 per cent (H1 2013:
35.5 per cent).

The net operating profit generated by the CEE Division in the first half of
2014 amounted to EUR 775 million, which is 3.5 per cent below the
comparative figure for the first half of the previous year (H1 2013: EUR
803 million). At constant exchange rates, net operating profit increased by
7.1 per cent. This development is mainly driven by favourable growth in net
interest, particularly in Russia, and a strong fee increase across all
countries, which is partially offset by the influence of a lower H1 2014
net result in Turkey due to regulatory changes, the first effects of the
new Hungarian Customer Loan Act and low trading income in Russia due to
rouble depreciation. Net write-downs of loans and provisions for guarantees
and commitments decreased by 24.9 per cent to EUR 300 million (H1 2013: EUR
400 million) due to lower current year requirements. At the same time
profit before tax was EUR 734 million, 7.2 per cent below the first half of
2013 equalling plus 3.4 per cent at constant exchange rates. The
cost/income ratio was at a sound level of 40.5 per cent (H1 2013: 38.9 per
cent).

Within UniCredit, Bank Austria is the sub-holding company for operations in
the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Its banking network comprises
around 2,500 branches and 48,335 FTEs in 13 countries (including the
Turkish joint venture accounted for using the equity method). The Group
continues to see itself as a long-term investor in the CEE region and aims
to expand its leading market position through sustained organic growth in
the coming years.

The first half of 2014 delivered a very favourable mix of stronger
developed-world growth, ample central bank liquidity and evidence of
adjustment in some large emerging markets. Over the course of the second
half of this year, emerging markets should continue to benefit from the
export of growth from developed markets while recent ECB actions are
supportive of risk appetite. Central Europe is well placed to continue to
take advantage of a recovery in external demand while weathering some
volatility in foreign capital flows. Events in Ukraine have served to
highlight Russia's structural growth challenge as well as its reliance on
foreign capital. The economy is showing some modest signs of re-balancing
but there are no easy sources of growth at this stage. Meanwhile
geopolitical risks are likely to persist at least over the course of the
next couple of quarters.

"Although the geopolitical tensions in Ukraine call European and CEE growth
into question, the macroeconomic scenario has become more encouraging. We
do hope that this conflict comes to a peaceful solution and we remain a
committed strategic investor in Central and Eastern Europe", says Gianni
Franco Papa, Bank Austria's Deputy CEO and Head of CEE Division, "In the
first six months of 2014 our subsidiary banks in CEE have shown a solid
performance with overall net operating profit at Division level improving
due to lower credit risk and stable costs. We will continue refining our
regional service model and adapting it to the changes in customer
behaviour."

Statement of financial position (Footnote 3)

Bank Austria's total assets as at 30 June 2014 were EUR 183.1 billion
(Footnote 4), up by 3.0 per cent or EUR 5.3 billion on the end of the
previous year (31 December 2013: EUR 177.9 billion).

On the assets side, loans and receivables with customers as at 30 June 2014
totalled EUR 117.6 billion, an increase of 2.4 per cent or EUR 2.7 billion
(31 December 2013: EUR 114.9 billion), despite negative exchange rate
effects. Loans and receivables with banks declined slightly, by 0.5 per
cent, to EUR 22.2 billion (31 December 2013: EUR 22.3 billion).

On the liabilities side, deposits from customers amounted to EUR 95.8
billion, a slight decrease of 1.2 per cent (31 December 2013: EUR 97.0
billion). Debt securities in issue rose by 6.7 per cent to EUR 29.1 billion
(31 December 2013: EUR 27.3 billion), reflecting three successful bond
issues totalling EUR 1.5 billion. Primary funds - i.e. the sum total of
deposits from customers and debt securities in issue, representing direct
funding from commercial banking sources - totalled EUR 125 billion,
accounting for 68.2 per cent of total liabilities and equity. This gives a
loan/direct-funding ratio of 94.1 per cent; customer loans are covered by
customer deposits and debt securities in issue to the extent of over 100
per cent.

The leverage ratio (total assets minus intangible assets / equity minus
intangible assets) improved further, from 11.9 at the end of 2013 to 11.6
as at 30 June 2014.

As at 30 June 2014, IFRS equity was EUR 15.9 billion, up by EUR 833 million
on the end of the previous year (31 December 2013: EUR 15.1 billion).

Total regulatory capital as at 30 June 2014 amounted to EUR 17.4 billion,
up by EUR 1.4 billion on year-end 2013.

As at 30 June 2014, the total capital ratio based on all risks was 13.8 per
cent. The Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio was an excellent 11.0 per cent
(in accordance with the transition provisions of the Capital Requirements
Regulation).

Staff numbers of the Bank Austria Group including the employees of
UniCredit's subsidiaries (Footnote 5) in Austria were 57,835 full-time
equivalents (Footnote 6) (FTEs) as at 30 June 2014 (30 June 2013: 58,627
FTEs). Of this total, 9,500 FTEs were employed in Austria and 48,335 FTEs
in CEE countries.

Footnote 1: To ensure comparability, the comparative figures for 2013 have
been adjusted: starting with 2014, the equity investment in Yapı Kredi in
Turkey is no longer accounted for using proportionate consolidation in
accordance with IFRSs; the investment is now accounted for using the equity
method, i.e. net profit or loss is included within operating income in the
item "dividend income and other income from equity investments", and the
figures for the previous year have been adjusted to reflect this change in
the accounting method. The equity investment in Ukrsotsbank continues to be
shown in the items "Non-current assets and disposal groups classified as
held for sale" and "Liabilities included in disposal groups classified as
held for sale". Furthermore, leasing activities in the three Baltic
countries and in Bulgaria, Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania
have been transferred to Bank Austria by the UniCredit parent company.
Segment reporting has been adjusted to reflect the new structure.

Footnote 2: Leverage ratio = total assets minus intangible assets / equity
minus intangible assets.

Footnote 3: Comparative figures of the previous year as published

Footnote 4: Equity investment in Yapı Kredi, Turkey, accounted for using
the equity method.

Footnote 5: Mainly UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions Austria GmbH
(UBIS Austria), Pioneer Investments Austria and UniCredit Leasing.

Footnote 6: Including the employees of the Turkish joint venture accounted
for using the equity method.



RECAST                               Quar-  figu-  Half-  fig-  Change over
                                     terly  res    year   ures
                                                                previ  year
                                                                ous
in Euro mn                           Q1     + Q2   = H1   H1    +/-    +/-
%
                                     2014   2014   2014   2013  EUR
Net interest                           841    866  1,708  1,716    -8   -0%
Dividend income and other income
from equity investments                 73    151    224   310    -86  -28%
Net fees and commissions               330    346    675   671     +4   +1%
Net trading, hedging and
fair value income                      112    138    250   313    -63  -20%
Net other expenses/income               20     30     50    31    +19  +61%
Operating Income                     1,376  1,531  2,907  3,041  -134   -4%
Payroll costs                         -406   -404   -810  -834    +24   -3%
Other administrative expenses         -385   -381   -766  -741    -24   +3%
Recovery of expenses                     0      0      0     1     -1  -89%
Amortisation, depreciation and
impairment
losses on intangible and tangible
assets                                 -44    -37    -81  -104    +23  -22%
                                                             -
Operating costs                       -835   -822  -1,657 1,679   +22   -1%
Operating profit                       541    710  1,250  1,362  -112   -8%
Net write-downs of loans and
provisions
for guarantees and commitments        -190   -142   -332  -514   +182  -35%
NET OPERATING PROFIT                   350    568    918   848    +70   +8%
Provisions for risks and charges        -4    -28    -31   -97    +66  -68%
Integration/restructuring costs         -1     -6     -7    -6     -1  +19%
Net income from investments             75    -20     55    -2    +57  n.a.
PROFIT BEFORE TAX                      421    515    935   743   +192  +26%
Income tax for the period              -64    -63   -126  -117     -9   +8%
Total profit or loss after tax from
discontinued
operations                               2    -27    -25   -23     -2  +10%
Profit for the period                  359    425    784   604   +180  +30%
Non-controlling interests               -8      1     -8   -21    +13  -64%
NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE
OWNERS OF BANK AUSTRIA BEFORE PPA      351    426    776   583   +193  +33%
Purchase Price Allocation effect         0      0      0     0     +0  n.a.
Goodwill impairment                      0      0      0    -5     +5 
-100%
NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE
OWNERS OF BANK AUSTRIA                 351    426    776   578   +198  +34%




n.m. = not meaningful

Notes:
 1) Bank Austria's income statement as presented in this table is a
    reclassified format corresponding to the format used for segment
    reporting.

 2) Recast: The comparative figures for 2013 have been recast to reflect
    the consolidation perimeter and business structure in 2014.



in Euro bn                       30.06.2014                     31.12.2013
Total Assets                          183.1                          177.9
Equity                                 15.9                           15.1




Issuer:
UniCredit Bank Austria AG
Schottengasse 6-8, 1010 Vienna, Austria
e-mail: investor.relations@unicreditgroup.at
Internet: http://IR-en.bankaustria.at

Largest bonds by volume issued:

ISIN   Stock exchanges:
XS0343689377  Luxemburg
XS0372532514  Luxemburg
XS0379307258  Luxemburg
AT000B048988  Vienna

Further stock exchanges where bonds are admitted to listing:
Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich




Contact:
Günther Stromenger
Corporate Relations - Bank Austria
phone: +43 (0) 50505 - 57232
e-mail: guenther.stromenger@unicreditgroup.at



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Language:    English                                               
Company:     UniCredit Bank Austria AG                             
             Schottengasse 6 - 8                                   
             1010 Wien                                             
             Austria                                               
Phone:       0043 (0) 50505 - 57232                                
Fax:         0043 (0) 50505 - 8957232                              
E-mail:      investor.relations@unicreditgroup.at                  
Internet:    www.bankaustria.at                                    
ISIN:        AT0000995006                                          
WKN:         99500                                                 
Listed:      Freiverkehr in München, Stuttgart; Open Market in     
             Frankfurt; Luxemburg, Wien (Geregelter Freiverkehr /  
             Second Regulated Market)                              
 
 
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280655 06.08.2014                                                      
 
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