Luminor Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all delivered good profitability throughout 2018 and kept a good momentum.
“In 2018 we saw Luminor’s financial results remain stable in all three Baltic States and show profitability throughout the year,” said Erkki Raasuke, Luminor Bank CEO. “Overall Luminor’s deposit volumes in 2018 increased by 7.6%, and while customer lending volumes had a minor decrease of 1.7% compared to 2017, our loan to deposit ratio improved.”
During Q4 2018, Luminor continued to focus in all three countries on transformation processes and completing the cross-border merger, whereby starting from 2 January 2019 Luminor continued its operations through a registered entity in Estonia and its branches in Latvia and Lithuania.
According to Raasuke, the economic environment of the Baltic States is currently favourable, with healthy growth rates in GDP, almost full employment, balanced current accounts and healthy levels of saving rates and surplus budgets.
“This positive economic backdrop has supported our decision to accelerate the transformation Luminor is currently undergoing,” he explained. “In 2019 we will be actively implementing our transformation plan and an ambitious programme of upgrading our customers’ online experience, pressing ahead with IT and digital transformation and gaining operating efficiency. We are also adjusting our organisation to changing business needs, take down post-merger duplications and simplifying our operations.”
In 2019 Luminor will also continue with the Know Your Customer (KYC) enhancement programme in all three countries, emphasising regulatory compliance as a key priority and conducting its business with integrity.
The accounts for Q4 2018 of Luminor Estonia show that net interest income remained stable at 16.8 million euros, while total operating expenses increased by 51% in the same period, driven by higher IT development costs. The net profit earned in Q4 2018 was 0.6 million euros, which was 6.5 million euros less than in Q3 2018 mainly due to tax on dividends recorded in Q4 2018.
Net interest incomes in the 4th quarter of 2018 in Latvia reached 13.6 million EUR, while the total net interest income difference grew for 1.2%. Operating income reached 30 million EUR during this period, which is for 1 million more than in the previous quarter. Slower operating income increase was mainly determined by the accumulations for end-of-year payments and one-off payments resulted from the investments in property and value depreciation losses. As a result, in general the incomes were growing, however, considering material additional investments in IT technologies, we closed the 4th quarter with 0.7 million EUR losses.
Unaudited financial statement for the 4th quarter of 2018 is available here. Consolidated audited financial statements of Luminor Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for 2018 will be published in March 2019.
“The previous year was dynamic for Luminor and we paid great attention to the improvement of customer service quality both in the segments of private persons and private banking, as well as in the business segment. Since Luminor introduced a new customer service concept involving the increasing customer focus on digital bank channels, the activity of customers using remote channels increased for 26%, while the amount of services in customer service centres reduced by half. Moreover, with the introduction of a new digital authentication solution Smart ID, the number of unique users increased until approximately 27 thousands in 1.5 months", explains the Head of Luminor Retail banking / Luminor Latvia Kerli Gabrilovica. “We are happy to see that customer satisfaction by our banking services is increasing each quarter, which is also confirmed by the customer satisfaction data acquired by a “secret shopper” method (88%, 4th quarter).
The Q4 2018 net profit earned in Luminor Lithuania was 3.1 million euros, which was 16.7 million euros less compared to Q3 2018. This drop was mainly due to impairment losses on loans and higher IT and other administrative expenses during the quarter. Net interest income increased by 0.4% reaching 28.3 million euros and net commission income increased by 0.5% compared to Q3 2018.
The Luminor Estonia 2018 unaudited Q4 report is available here. Consolidated audited results for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 2018 will be published by the end of March 2019.