ABGSC Revenues and Profits rise in first half on strong capital
Oslo, 25 July 2007 - In contrast to the volatile market conditions of Q1, the second quarter saw solid and consistent market performance and continued strength in corporate activity. Nordic markets were again the best performers of all developed market regions and ABGSC achieved a higher market share of Nordic traded volume. While domestic client business levels dropped modestly from the first quarter, international client activity grew further such that overall Equities Division revenues increased in the period. Robust M&A and ECM activity allowed another significant increase in Corporate Finance revenues. Results from the expanded bonds team had a marked positive contribution in both the quarter and first half.
First Half Highlights
* First Half Earnings Per Share were NOK 0.93 versus NOK 0.83 last year, an increase of 12 %. Second quarter EPS were 0.44 vs. 0.42.
* Global and Nordic region market conditions were far less volatile during Q2 despite concerns about credit market excesses. As a result, most markets extended their earlier gains on the back of continued corporate profit growth, wider profit margins and intense merger activity. The Nordic region markets as a group remained the best performing developed market region in the world for both Q2 and the first half of 2007.
* ABGSC Corporate Finance continues to produce outstanding results despite tough comparisons. Revenues increased by 35% in the first half with ECM business making an especially strong contribution in Q2. Real estate and bond issues were also prominent contributors in the period.
* Revenues from Stockbroking services increased slightly for Q2 and 13% for the first half. The firm's overall Nordic market share rose and results were positively impacted by our strong international client position during a period when domestic investor activity diminished somewhat. ECM transactions continued to benefit Equities Division's results as well.
* ABGSC traded volume has risen faster than the overall market so far in 2007.
* The firm's newly re-structured Board of Directors was announced during the second quarter.