Cembra Money Bank Says Profit Little Changed After IPO

Cembra Money Bank AG, the Swiss consumer finance firm spun off from General Electric Capital Corp., said 2013 profit was little changed in its first earnings report after the lender sold shares to the public.

Net income was 132.9 million Swiss francs ($151 million), compared with 133.1 million francs a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

“2013 was an exciting year for our bank with the successful IPO,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Oudmayer said in the statement. “We didn’t lose focus on our daily business.”

Cembra Money Bank rose 0.4 percent to 59.70 francs as of 11:39 a.m. in Zurich, valuing the company at 1.8 billion francs. The stock gained 17 percent since the lender, formerly known as GE Money Bank, sold shares in October.

Cembra Money Bank, which generates revenue from loans, vehicle financing, credit cards and savings and insurance services, proposed a dividend of 2.85 francs a share, in line with a plan to pay 60 percent to 70 percent of profit to shareholders.

The company forecast 2014 earnings per share of 4.40 francs to 4.60 francs, compared with 4.43 francs in 2013, and said it expects “fierce” pricing competition as interest rates remain at “historically low levels.”

Operating expenses rose 9 percent after 23.3 million francs of costs related to the initial public offering and re-branding the company. A gain of 21.1 million francs from the sale of a portfolio of loss certificates also impacted the result, according to the statement.

Under Swiss law lenders can obtain certificates representing unpaid loans from a debt enforcement office. These are transferable to third parties.

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