Saxo Bank reports a record profit following the sale of its shareholding in Saxo Payments, while the number of new clients for both direct and wholesale businesses reaches new highs.
Saxo Bank Group reported a positive net profit of DKK 955.8 million (USD 145.33 million) for 2018, a record profit for the Group, an increase of 138 per cent compared to 2017. Client collateral deposits continued to rise to DKK 112.6 billion (USD 17.10 billion) while the operating income for the group was DKK 2.8 billion (USD 425.70 million), an 8 per cent decrease compared to 2017.
Commenting on the results, Kim Fournais, CEO and founder of Saxo Bank, said: “2018 has been a defining year for Saxo Bank. We are very proud to have welcomed Geely Holding Group and Sampo plc as new shareholders giving us a strong foundation and governance to execute on our long-term plans. We have launched a wide range of new products, platforms, services and improvements in our pricing to our clients notably the two new platforms, SaxoTraderPRO and SaxoInvestor. All of this enables us to deliver a world class client experience which has supported the 67 per cent increase in new direct trading clients. Contributing factors to the small decline in revenue are the sale of our last non-core activities, lower client activity levels given the generally difficult market conditions as well as the introduction of lower prices across products.”
Saxo Bank Group continued to strengthen its capital position with the total capital ratio for the Group reaching 35.0 per cent as of the end of 2018 compared to 22.7 per cent at the end of 2017, thus retaining a comfortable buffer.
2018 key figures at a glance
- Operating income: DKK 2.8 billion (USD 425.70 million)
- EBITDA (profit): DKK 1,408 million (USD 212 million)
- Net profit: DKK 955.8 million (USD 145.33 million)
- Client collateral deposits: DKK 112.6 billion (USD 17.12 billion)
- Total equity: DKK 5.6 billion (USD 851.47 million)
“We continue the new year with record high investments in our technology and people to improve the SaxoExperience to be the partner of choice for traders, investors and wholesale partners whilst reducing cost and complexity in a scalable manner,” continued Mr Fournais. “With a stronger capital base than ever before, we have a solid foundation for executing the planned acquisition of BinckBank. BinckBank and Saxo Bank are highly complementary and the combination of the businesses will create win-win for all stakeholders as clients will be offered better products, prices, platforms and services, employees will benefit from enhanced career opportunities in a larger international organisation and, crucially, we gain necessary scale.”
In 2018, Saxo Bank took the final steps to streamline the business to focus on the core areas of trading and investing. As part of this strategy, 2018 saw the successful sale of Saxo Privatbank, a fully licensed retail bank with branches across Denmark, and Saxo Payments, a provider of infrastructure for online cross-border payments. In line with Saxo Bank’s partnership strategy, both entities continue to leverage Saxo Bank’s technology and investment infrastructure as wholesale partners.
On December 17 2018, Saxo Bank and BinckBank announced an agreement on a recommended all-cash public offer for all BinckBank shares. Subject to the necessary approvals and shareholder acceptance, BinckBank and Saxo Bank anticipate that the Offer will close Q3 2019.
Lars Andreasen has been appointed to the Audit Committee at the annual general meeting 2019. Having worked in a range of senior positions over the course of his 20+ years career with Danske Bank, Lars Andreasen is an experienced senior executive in the financial industry. Andreasen holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Business Administration and Auditing and he is a Danish State authorised public accountant.