A strong quarter - operating profit SEK 3.9bn
* Operating profit for the second quarter isolated amounted to SEK 3,906m, an increase of 31 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter of 2005 and up 6 per cent from the previous quarter. Net profit for the quarter increased to SEK 2,947m. * Operating profit for January-June 2006 increased by 34 per cent, to SEK 7,576m. Net profit rose by 35 per cent, to SEK 5,774m. * Operating income for the first half of 2006 improved by 18 per cent compared with last year, mostly due to higher commission income within all categories. * Operating expenses for the first half increased by 10 per cent, mainly due to performance-related costs and acquisitions. Excluding these costs, expenses rose by 4 per cent. * Net credit losses remained low. * Return on equity was 19.8 per cent (16.5) and earnings per share increased to SEK 8.59 (6.39). Cost/income ratio improved to 0.59 (0.63). * Customer activity and business generation remained strong within all areas. * SEB again received several awards, including Best Bank in Sweden by Euromoney.
President's comments SEB's second quarter result 2006 was the best to date, based on very strong performance by all divisions. Profit growth was particularly high within Merchant Banking and Eastern European Banking.
Strong customer business and market share gains as well as several quality awards are signs of improved customer appreciation.
Investments in growth areas as well as an overall positive business climate and high activities towards customers contributed to continued revenue growth. Declining stock markets in late spring had a limited impact on the result. The international economic climate remains robust. However, uncertainty regarding inflation, raw material prices and increasing interest rates has brought nervousness to the equity markets. These worries led to asset reallocation and volatility in the financial markets.
The result for January-June 2006 was significantly higher than in previous years. Nevertheless, the efforts to improve efficiency and further integrate the various operations continue. The integration of Enskilda Securities with the Bank as well as further consolidation of IT and other support functions are such examples. Delivering One SEB to customers and improving productivity are top priorities.
SEB's goal is to be leading within customer satisfaction and financial performance in terms of return on equity and profitable growth. The development so far forms a good basis for meeting future challenges and for reaching our long-term goals.
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