27 August 2014

KBL epb half-year net profit rises to €50 million 

Luxembourg-headquartered private banking group performs strongly in Grand Duchy and across its nine-country European network

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Luxembourg; August 27, 2014: KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb), headquartered in Luxembourg and operating in nearly 50 cities in Europe, announced today its robust financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2014, demonstrating the strength of the group’s core private banking activities across its nine-country network.

KBL epb reported a net profit of €50 million for the first half of 2014, up more than 19% compared to €41.9 million for the same period last year. This positive performance was driven by increased income – especially in Luxembourg – significant affiliate contributions and the bank’s capacity to leverage market conditions.

Total assets under management increased over the six-month period, and were up by €1.7 billion as of June 30, 2014, compared to the end of last year.

Commenting on these results, Yves Stein, Group CEO, KBL epb, said: “During the first half of this year, we continued to focus on the implementation of our business
Transformation Programme and on the long-term development of the group, in line
with the strategy put in place following the acquisition by Precision Capital, our
shareholder.

“Over the same period, the group achieved solid organic growth in Luxembourg and among our key European affiliates, including Puilaetco Dewaay in Belgium, Theodoor Gilissen in the Netherlands, Brown Shipley in the UK, KBL Richelieu in France and Merck Finck in Germany.

“Here and across our network, we are pleased with our positive performance but remain firmly focused on the future,” Stein said. “Today, we continue to accelerate our investments in the development of our product and service offering – and in the skills of our specialist staff. In areas such as credit, financial planning and asset management, in particular, we are now significantly enhancing the way we serve our clients.”

According to Stein, the top-line growth announced today can also be attributed to the group’s Luxembourg-headquartered Global Financial Markets and Life Insurance business lines, which performed positively over the six-month period. As well, a number of non-recurring capital gains enhanced the group’s profitability in the first half of this year.

“A key factor driving our overall performance was our capacity to rapidly adapt our offering to meet the needs of today’s private and professional clients in Luxembourg,” he said. “As the leading European private bank headquartered in the Grand Duchy, we are able to quickly respond to the often complex needs of clients in our home country.”

KBL epb will continue to invest heavily in future growth in the second half of the year, according to Stein, who highlighted the group’s commitment to ongoing staff training and even greater focus on the recruitment of specialist staff. Attracting such talented women and men, he said, will further reinforce KBL epb’s already strong local sales teams.

This proactive and entrepreneurial approach is actively supported by Precision Capital, said Stein: “Our shareholder remains convinced that there are significant opportunities for groups like ours – which combine decision-making centers in Luxembourg with a solid network of domestic affiliates – to increase their share of the European private banking market.”

In line with its focus on ongoing strategic development, KBL epb announced earlier this year the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Lombard Odier, the Geneva-headquartered private bank, to explore a partnership that would potentially support KBL epb Information Technology activities.

According to Stein, the two parties are now working hard to gauge the potential effectiveness of this strategic partnership, with the objective of reaching conclusions before the end of the year. In the meantime, the group is developing a range of new digital applications and CRM tools.

Finally, KBL epb continued to reinforce its social responsibility commitments over the first six months of this year, signing a long-term partnership agreement with Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among youth in the Grand Duchy, as well as by extending its ongoing support for the Luxembourg Autism Foundation and Kriibskrank Kanner Foundation.