VTB Group posts 1H 2010 net profit of 25.1 billion roubles

Leading Russian banking group VTB has posted 1H 2010 net profit of 25.1 billion roubles under IFRS.

The bottom line, which is a record-high half a year result in VTB’s history, marks a sharp turnaround from a net loss of 31.5 billion roubles in the first half of 2009, with net interest income increasing 23% year-on-year to 86.4 billion roubles, the loan portfolio before provisioning growing 11% to 2.8 trillion roubles during the first six months of 2010, and assets growing to 3.63 trillion roubles from 3.61 trillion roubles at the beginning of the year.

The group underlined in the statement that credit risk was under control, with provision charge going down to 2.1% in 1H 2010 from 6.9% in 1H 2009. Allowance for loan impairment remained almost unchanged at 9.3%, which compares with 9.2% at the end of 2009. The ratio of non-performing loans stood at 9.5% versus 9.8% at the end of 2009, which marked the first decline since the start of the crisis.

Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB, was upbeat when commenting on the figures and attributed the group’s outstanding results to its unique way to handle business.

“I am pleased to announce that VTB has achieved a record net profit for the first half of the year. We continue to derive value from our unique business model, identifying new opportunities for profitable growth across our core businesses, corporate, retail and investment banking, and we have started to implement the group’s new strategy under the leadership of our industry-leading management team.”

Herbert Moos, a chief financial officer at VTB bank, also said the combination of the different businesses was a key to the group’s success.

“We have posted a record net income in VTB’s history of 25 billion roubles. Mostly it is because of the uniqueness of our business model, which combines a very large corporate bank, a very profitable retail operator and a leading investment bank. All three businesses complemented each other and enabled us to achieve the record income.”

Moos also added that they would focus on increasing profitability of the group, with its size being optimal for now.

“We expect that, obviously, volatility in the market will continue to exist. At the same time, the strategy that we adopted recently will lead to a really significant appreciation of our price, so we’re pretty optimistic in terms of long term prospects. The strategy is for the first time looking to focus not on the growth of the group, and we now feel comfortable about the scale of our group, we’re looking to derive returns from that scale, so we’re looking to focus on return equity on profitability of our group, as opposed to the absolute level of our growth.”

Diversification and a non-traditional market will also become one of VTB’s priorities, Herbert Moos concluded.

“To fund our development, we will require a very significant support. We chiefly focus on the growth of our customer deposits; for the first time the share of our customers’ deposits in our liability structure exceeded 50%, so it’s right now standing at about 55%. The remaining part will be of course funded from wholesale markets. Here we are looking to diversify our holding very significantly. And as you saw, in addition to our traditional markets this year, we also topped unusual markets for us – these were Asian markets. We were the first issuer in Singapore, for example, and we are looking to expand it.”