Bellevue Group reports slightly higher net profit - improvement of operating performance

2/24/2014, 7:00 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Bellevue Group AG / Bellevue Group reports slightly higher net profit - improvement of operating performance . Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

  • Solid net profit of CHF 6.5 mn (2012: CHF 6.2 mn); consolidated operating profit increases 46% to CHF 7.7 mn
  • Bank am Bellevue and Bellevue Asset Management report operating profit of CHF 5.0 mn and CHF 4.3 mn 
  • Growth in assets under management due to outperformance, up 33% to CHF 2.63 bn
  • Performance of Bellevue Research recommendations significantly beats the Swiss Market Index (+29.5% vs. +20.2%) 
  • Dividend of CHF 1.00 per share proposed

2013 turned out to be good for stock investments despite the widespread uncertainty at the beginning of the year. Double-digit gains, fueled not at least by monetary stimulus from central banks, were by no means the exception last year. Despite the market advances, trading activity remained low: Trading turnover on the SIX Swiss Exchange was only up 19% from the low level in the previous year and it remains significantly below the historical average. Investors continued to show little appetite for risk in the form of stocks, too, despite the record low levels of interest rates. As a pure stock player, the caution that prevailed among investors continued to have an impact on Bellevue Group last year.  

Future earnings potential created - further reduction of costs

Against this general backdrop, Bellevue Group stayed the course with its Brokerage, Corporate Finance and Asset Management units and significantly improved its operating performance. Operating income was slightly higher at CHF 43.5 mn (2012: CHF 42.9 mn), which does not truly reflect the increase in fee and commission income in Brokerage and the growth at Asset Management. Their growth was offset by lower income at Corporate Finance and, on the other hand, the income potential arising from the strong performance at BB Biotech AG could not yet be fully exploited. Fee and commission income, the Group's main source of income, was therefore virtually unchanged from the previous year. Operating expenses were reduced by another CHF 1.8 mn or 5% to just under CHF 36 mn. Resulting operating profit was up 46% at CHF 7.7 mn. Taking into consideration the net result of seed capital, depreciation, impairments, provisions, and taxes, Bellevue Group achieved a consolidated net profit of CHF 6.5 mn (2012: CHF 6.2 mn). Bellevue Group employed an average work force of 80 FTEs in 2013 (2012: 82) and its total assets under management amounted to CHF 4.3 bn (2012: CHF 3.6 bn).

Urs Baumann, CEO of Bellevue Group, commenting on the 2013 results: "A significantly better operating performance is a clear sign that Bellevue Group is on the right track. Despite selective investments in core business activities, we reduced overall expenses on the back of continuous cost optimization. The upward trend in overall trading and a higher level of assets under management provide a good basis for future income growth."

Bank am Bellevue: Research outperforms Swiss Market Index by far  
Bank am Bellevue profited from the slight recovery in market turnover. Operating income increased by 15% to CHF 21.3 mn while operating expenses were reduced by nearly 5% to CHF 16.3 mn, resulting in an operating profit of CHF 5.0 mn (2012: CHF 1.4 mn). Despite the persisting uncertainties on the economic and political fronts that kept many investors on the sidelines, brokerage business with institutional investors increased slightly. The aggregate performance of all investment recommendations issued by Bank am Bellevue during the past year stood at 29.5%, which attests its internationally recognized expertise in the Swiss stock market. That performance easily surpassed the 20.2% gain by the SMI (Swiss Market Index). Bank am Bellevue's top 5 investment recommendations delivered an even better return of 37.2%. Bank am Bellevue's balance sheet and capital base are extremely sound with a CET1 ratio of 41.5%. Total equity at the end of 2013 amounted to CHF 41.9 mn.

Bellevue Asset Management: 33% growth in assets under management

In Asset Management the focus on recurring income is gaining traction. Total recurring income was virtually stable at CHF 20.9 mn (2012: CHF 21.7 mn) despite the substantial alterations made to the product range. Due to the normalization of other income items, total operating income declined from CHF 24.4 mn to CHF 21.3 mn. Thanks to strict cost management, operating expenses were reduced by 4% to CHF 17.1 mn and operating profit was in line with expectations at CHF 4.3 mn (2012: CHF 6.7 mn). Assets under management showed pleasing growth of 33% to CHF 2.63 bn, fueled by a strong investment performance and new money inflows at the fund products. Leading the way once again was BB Biotech AG with an investment performance of 66.0% (in CHF). The equity funds BB Entrepreneur Switzerland, BB Entrepreneur Europe and BB African Opportunities also performed very well.

Strong capital base enables continuity of dividend policy 

Positive operating results and a strong capital base (Bellevue Group equity amounts to CHF 149.5 mn) make it possible for the company to maintain an attractive dividend payout. In keeping with the company's stated dividend policy, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 1.00 per registered share at the Annual General Meeting. With a CET1 ratio of 32.5% (2012: 32.7%), eligible capital and reserves will remain well above the minimum requirements even after the proposed dividend payout.

Further measures to enhance earnings initiated

Bellevue Group has undertaken many efforts to optimize and adjust its business model over the past two years. Business activities were focused on core competencies and the cost base was lowered. At the same time the company used the structural change sweeping through the entire sector to selectively strengthen its teams and expertise. Bellevue Group today is agile and strong. Nevertheless, owing to its resolute focus on active investment styles, it remains directly dependent on the general market environment and investor appetite for risk. Against this background, efforts to broaden the income base and selectively expand the business model will continue. Bank am Bellevue has launched two investment funds to leverage the excellent track record of its Research recommendations. Bellevue Asset Management has created a promising platform for further earnings growth with its significantly higher level of assets under management. Furthermore, the adjusted management fee at BB Biotech AG as of 2014 will have a positive effect on future income.

The full version of the annual report 2013 is available at www.bellevue.ch

Agenda 2014:

Annual general meeting 2014                            17 March 2014

Half-year report 2014                                        28 July 2014

Contact:

Media / Investor Relations: Daniel Koller, CFO

Telephone +41 44 267 67 00, Fax +41 44 267 67 01, ir@bellevue.ch

Bellevue Group

Bellevue Group is an independent Swiss financial boutique listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Established in 1993, the company and its approximately 80 employees are specialists in the fields of Brokerage, Corporate Finance and Asset Management. Bellevue Group includes the two subsidiaries Bank am Bellevue and Bellevue Asset Management. The bank boasts superb knowledge of the Swiss stock and bond market and offers independent research opinions and recommendations as well as viable solutions for capital market transactions. Bellevue Asset Management is focused on selected active equity investment strategies in growing markets, in healthcare industries as well as in other special themes such as entrepreneur-led companies.




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The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Bellevue Group AG via Globenewswire

HUG#1763843

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Bellevue Group AG
Seestrasse 16; Postfach Küsnacht/Zürich Switzerland

WKN: A0LG3Z;ISIN: CH0028422100;


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