KBC Group: First-quarter result of 458 million euros

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Overig advies 12/05/2022 08:50
KBC Group – overview (consolidated, IFRS) 1Q2022 4Q2021 1Q2021
Net result (in millions of EUR) 458 663 557
Basic earnings per share (in EUR) 1.07 1.56 1.31
Breakdown of the net result by business unit (in millions of EUR)*
Belgium 227 486 380
Czech Republic 207 198 123
International Markets 74 56 88
Group Centre -49 -77 -35
Parent shareholders’ equity per share (in EUR, end of period) 51.8 51.8 49.8
* At the start of 2022, Ireland was moved from the International Markets Business Unit to the Group Centre in view of the pending sale. Past figures have not been restated.

‘Just when the pandemic-related concerns had started to ease in some countries thanks to the gradual abolishment of precautionary
measures, Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine has caused immense human suffering and we express
our heartfelt solidarity with all the victims of the conflict, both those in the region itself and the large number of refugees in various guest
countries in Europe.
The brutal invasion is sending shockwaves throughout the global economy. Our direct exposure to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (a mainly
commercial exposure of some 55 million euros) is quite limited, but we are keeping a very close eye on the indirect macroeconomic
impact, such as the effect of high gas and oil prices on inflation and economic growth, and on spillover effects for us, our counterparties
and our customers, both financially and operationally, including a heightened focus on information security threats. In that respect, we
decided to set aside a dedicated impairment amount to cover geopolitical and emerging risks (see below).
While the ongoing war in Ukraine still clearly commands our full attention, we have continued to manage our day-to-day business and
also take further steps towards realising various strategic goals. At the beginning of February, for instance, we were able to finalise the
sale of substantially all of KBC Bank Ireland’s non-performing mortgage loan portfolio. As regards sustainability, we again made further
progress, including realising our goal of systematically rolling out responsible investing funds in all our core countries when we recently
launched these solutions in Bulgaria. We would also invite you to read about our sustainability approach, our achievements and our
commitments in our 2021 Sustainability Report, which we published in early April and is available at www.kbc.com. As far as new initiatives
in the field of digitalisation are concerned, it is worthwhile mentioning that we took a first step in commercialising our in-house portfolio of
Artificial Intelligence applications, with the launch via our fintech subsidiary DISCAI of an AI application designed to combat money
laundering. DISCAI will pursue a gradual go-to-market approach and will work with partners for the distribution and integration of these
As regards our financial results, the year got off to a strong start, with a net profit of 458 million euros being posted in the quarter under
review. This is an excellent performance given that the bulk of bank taxes for the full year are recorded – as always – upfront in the first
quarter of the year. All the main income items performed well. Our costs were kept under control and included a one-off extraordinary
bonus for our staff to reward them for the very good 2021 results despite the difficult conditions caused by corona. We were also able to
record a small net reversal of loan loss impairment in the quarter under review, as the amount we set aside to cover geopolitical and
emerging risks was more than offset by the combination of a reversal of a large portion of the impairment recorded previously for the
coronavirus crisis and by net reversals for other individual files. As a result, our combined reserves for the coronavirus crisis and for
geopolitical and emerging risks now amount to 273 million euros. Our solvency position remained very solid with a common equity ratio
of 15.3% on a fully loaded basis and our liquidity position was excellent, as illustrated by an NSFR of 149% and an LCR of 162%. As
announced earlier, we will today pay out a gross final dividend of 7.6 euros per share, bringing the total gross dividend to 10.6 euros per
The last few years have also demonstrated that, even in continuously challenging circumstances, we can build on our solid foundations
and policy decisions of the past and, perhaps even more importantly, build on the trust that our customers, employees, shareholders and
other stakeholders place in us. That is something I would sincerely like to thank you for.’
Johan Thijs
Chief Executive Officer

Financial highlights in the first quarter of 2022
? Net interest income increased by 2% quarter-on-quarter and by 12% year-on-year. The net interest margin for the quarter under review amounted to 1.91%, up by 6 basis points on the previous quarter and by 13 basis points on the year-earlier quarter. Volumes continued to increase, with loans up by 2% quarter-on-quarter and by 7% year-on-year, and deposits excluding debt certificates growing by 3% quarter-on-quarter and by 5% year-on-year. These volume growth figures were calculated on an organic basis (excluding the changes in the scope of consolidation and forex effects).
? Technical income from our non-life insurance activities (premiums less charges, plus the
ceded reinsurance result) was up by 13% on the level recorded in the previous quarter and
only slightly below the year-earlier quarter’s result. The quarter-on-quarter increase was due
essentially to lower technical charges (despite the impact of the storms in the quarter) and a
better reinsurance result. Year-on-year, the higher earned premium income and reinsurance
result was fully offset by higher technical charges (caused by the above-mentioned storm impact, and relatively low charges in the reference quarter related to the coronavirus situation). The combined ratio for the first three months of 2022 amounted to an excellent 83%. Sales of our life insurance products were more or less in line with the level recorded in the previous quarter, and up by 16% on their level in the year-earlier quarter.
? Net fee and commission income was up slightly (by 1%) on its level in the previous quarter, and by as much as 9% on its year-earlier level. The latter increase was due mainly to higher fees for our asset management activities and higher fee income related to our banking.

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