A few words from CEO Håkan about Q2
We close the books on what has been an eventful three-month period for us, working with savings and investments. Brexit, high volatility, continuing extremely low interest rates and rising oil prices are events that had a major impact on the financial scene in the second quarter.
Three of the four Nordic stock exchanges, with Sweden as the exception, gave a positive return over the period and interest in share trading remains high. In the second quarter, our customers made 5.4 million trades, which was 23 percent more than in the same period last year. Volatility drives activity, and we experienced some of our most intense trading days ever in connection with the British EU referendum towards the end of the quarter.
Our customer growth is at a high stable level. Over the past 12 months, our customer base has grown by 13 percent, with 523, 000 Nordic savers now having chosen to use Nordnet as their financial partner. Net savings for the quarter totalled SEK 4.2 million, which was the highest quarterly amount since the start of 2015. Our lending operations are performing particularly strongly, and in one year, our lending has risen by 23 percent to SEK 7.6 billion. In April, we launched Sweden’s cheapest residential mortgage, and the product has had a good start. To date, we have loaned nearly SEK 250 million to home buyers in the Swedish market.
Our underlying growth is strong and important key figures, such as customer growth, savings, lending and trades, are pointing in the right direction. Despite this, our revenues were slightly lower than the second quarter of 2015. The foremost explanation is lower interest income due to lower market interest rates, and a reduction in net commissions. The lower commission income is explained by customers with lower prices having accounted for a larger portion of the traded value and us having lowered our prices for share trading. Given the current market situation, with low interest rates and lower prices on share trading, caution on the cost side is motivated, and our costs for the latest three months period are at a lower level than before. Going forward, our intention is to maintain or lower our costs from the existing level.
Nordnet turns 20 in August, and ever since the start of our business in 1996, our ambition has been to democratise share trading and to afford ordinary people access to the stock market on the same terms as the professionals. In May, we launched an offering in the Swedish market, according to which, customers with maximum SEK 80,000 in savings who are members of Shareville are given the opportunity to trade for free on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. For those who want to be successful in the stock market, low pricing and a high level of knowledge are a winning combination. Shareville presents informed discussion, proximity to the market and, above all, an open account of the transactions made by network members with their own money. This engenders a unique level of credibility. We want to lower the threshold for customers who are just embarking on their savings careers and maximise the potential for value growth. In the short term, this means lower income for us but, in the long term, we believe this will increase the inflow of new customers.
Thank you. If you have any questions or reflections that you would like to share, you can find me on Twitter.
P.s. Our service continues to be recognised in a number of external awards. In Denmark, the Danish Shareholders Association named us “Stockbroker of the Year” for the eighth consecutive year, and our pensions offering has been named “Best in Test” by Tænk Penge magazine, the Danish equivalent of Sweden’s Råd och Rön. Our country manager for Finland, Niklas Odenwall, was named “Influencer of the Year” by Management Events.
Presentation to analysts, shareholders and the media
CEO Håkan Nyberg and CFO Jacob Kaplan will be presenting the report and answering any questions on Tuesday 19 July 2016 at 10.00 a.m. CET via a telephone conference. The presentation will be made in English and can also be followed online.
Telephone number for participation by telephone: +46 8 5664 2662 (Sweden) or +44 2030 089 819 (UK).
Follow the presentation on https://wonderland.videosync.fi/2016-07-19-nordnet-q2-report