Copenhagen-based online broker Saxo Bank today announced a record profit of DKK 955.8 million (roughly $145 million) for 2018, which is a 138% increase to the 2017 profit figures. The Group reported an increase in client deposits to a record high of DKK 112.6 billion ($17m) while its operating income came in at DKK 2.8 billion (around $426m) which is an 8% drop from 2017 figures. The Group also announced record growth in new clients both within its wholesale and direct businesses.
Saxo Bank Group also reported a stronger capital position as The Group’s total capital ratio as at 31 December 2018 was 35.0% versus the 22.7% reported at the end of calendar year 2017, which provided an adequate buffer for the bank.
The highlights of the report included:
- Net operating income of $426.33 million ($456.83 million in 2017)
- EBITDA/profits of $214.36 million ($141.86 million in 2017)
- Net profit of $145.53 million ($61.07 million in 2017)
- Client collateral deposits of $17.14 billion ($15.77 billion in 2017)
- Total equity of $852.63 million ($700.39 million in 2017)
The Founder and CEO of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais explained that:
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.
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.
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.
The Group finally streamlined its areas of business operation in 2018 to focus solely on trading and investing activities. This strategy led to the sale of Saxo Privatbank, a licensed bank with multiple branches serving retail clients in Denmark, and Saxo Payments, a company providing online systems for cross-border payments. The two entities will continue to utilize the Group’s investment and technology systems as wholesale partners within its partnership strategy.
The Group is also pursuing an all-cash deal to purchase all the listed BinckBank shares subject to getting regulatory and shareholder approvals. The agreement was announced by The Group on 17 December 2018, and it is projected to be finalized in Q3 2019.
Saxo Bank also announced the appointment of Lars Andreasen to the Audit Committee at its 2019 annual general meeting. Andreasen has over 20 years’ experience in senior position with large financial services companies.