- Operating income increased by 8 percent to SEK 323.8 million (298.8)
- Operating profit rose 12 percent to SEK 99.6 million (89.2)
- Profit after tax for the period rose by 13 percent to SEK 81.0 million (72.0)
Highlights from the first quarter
- Strong customer growth with 27,000 new customers during the quarter and a 17 percent increase in the customer base in a single year
- A high level of activity among savers leads to the highest number of transactions ever during a single quarter
- Last day of trading for Nordnet’s share on 17 February
Håkan comments on the first quarter
The first quarter saw a positive start to the 2017 stock market year. All Nordic markets rose during the period, and in the US stock markets reached historical highs. The Stockholm Exchange was the strongest Nordic market with a gain of nearly 5 percent over the quarter.
The mood among investors has generally been positive and Nordnet has begun 2017 with a strong inflow of new customers. During the quarter, 27,000 Nordic individuals chose Nordnet for their investments – the highest figure ever for an individual quarter. We now have a total of nearly 600,000 customers and growth in the customer base over the past 12 months amounts to 17 percent, more than meeting our double-digit growth target. During the period, our customers have saved a net SEK 3.6 billion, which is in line with the previous quarter. Net savings for the past 12 months, measured in relation to the scale of the savings capital at the end of the first quarter amounts to slightly more than 8 percent, which does not match the double-digit growth target.
Our financial results for the quarter were good. Income related to brokerage and mutual fund commissions are being driven by a high number of transactions and the fact that the savings entrusted to us by customers are at record levels. In turn, the high level of trading activity is a result of the stock market having risen over an extended period, while the returns offered by savings accounts and other fixed-income investments remain low. Our total lending – including margin lending, personal loans and residential mortgages – has increased by 34 percent over the past 12 months, and is approaching SEK 10 billion. These are figures of which I am proud, although the increased lending is offset by lower interest rates to customers, meaning that our interest income is in line with previous levels. The total cost level is 3 percent higher than in the same period last year, primarily due to increased investment in product development and marketing. Profit before tax ended up at SEK 100 million, an increase of 12 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016.
As we have previously announced, our main focus in the product area is a new website. Towards the end of last year, we developed a beta version, which a small number of customers and other users have tested and given us feedback on. During the second quarter, we will invite additional customers to try this beta release, and we will also have news to present in a couple of other product categories.
This is our first report as an unlisted company. Those who have followed Nordnet know that we are now owned by the Öhman Group and Nordic Capital, and that 17 February was the final day of trading for Nordnet shares. Being a privately held company places a little fewer demands on financial reporting and transparency compared with being publicly listed. The way we operate as a bank can be summarized as Transparent Banking. We consider maintaining open communications with customers, employees, the media, government agencies and other stakeholders to be crucial in building confidence. This also applies to financial reporting. We will publish financial reports with the same regularity as previously, although the reports will be somewhat smaller in scope. We have chosen to focus on what we believe to be important to you as the reader, and have stripped some of the detail and some of the financial notes. We hope that you will find all essential information about Nordnet and its development to be in place in this report. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
PS. Our services continue to be praised, which is very pleasing. During the quarter, Økonomisk Ugebrev named us as the bank with the most satisfied private banking customers in the Danish market.