On top of successful business results, S&P upgrades NLB’s credit rating

May 11, 2022

The first quarter of 2022 was another eventful period globally, which actually turned out to be very successful for the NLB Group. In the first three months of the year, NLB Group achieved EUR 231.5 million of profit after tax, EUR 166.9 million higher YoY. The good business results were further rewarded today with the information that Standard and Poor’s rating agency raised NLB’s credit rating to BBB/A-2 from BBB-/A-3 with a stable outlook.

Justifying the move, the credit agency explained that the stable outlook also reflects NLB's sound capitalization and risk performance on the back of economic resilience in the core operating regions despite the war in Ukraine and remaining uncertainties from the pandemic.

NLB Group in Q1 2022 Continues to Grow and Build on Strong Market Position 

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic slowly abated and boosted optimistic expectations about the normalization and growth of the economy, the tragic war in Ukraine erupted. However, the situation impacted NLB Group and countries where it operates mostly indirectly with rising raw material and energy prices, interrupted and occasionally severed supply chains, caused higher inflation, and by consequence increased volatility on the capital markets. In this environment, NLB Group acted responsibly, continued to grow, and built on its strong market position, most notably with NLB’s acquisition of Sberbank Banka d.d. in Slovenia. EUR 231.5 profit after tax that NLB Group achieved in the first three months of the year were impacted by the acquisition, positively by the negative goodwill and negatively by the recognition of the 12-month expected credit losses for the performing portfolio.

“The Supervisory Board is satisfied with the Group’s business results in Q1 2022, especially with the positive effects of the NLB’s acquisition of the former Sberbank Banka in Slovenia [the bank has since been renamed ‘N Banka’]. Furthermore, it is especially proud of NLB’s responsible actions with respect to the difficult situation that this bank, its clients, and employees found themselves in at the end of February because of the measures against their Russian parent bank. The swift and efficient NLB response has stabilized N Banka’s operations and the entire Slovenian banking system,” emphasized Primož Karpe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of NLB d.d. upon the publication of the results. “Another important milestone that calls for special recognition, however, is also the recent smooth and efficient integration of NLB Group’s banks in Serbia, working now as one, systemically important bank – NLB Komercijalna banka,” he added. 

This acquisition was yet another step proving how much the complexity of the NLB Group's tasks has grown in recent years – not only in Slovenia, but in all the markets in South-Eastern Europe where the Group operates. That is why the Supervisory Board has appointed three additional members of the NLB Management Board in Q1 2022, Hedvika Usenik, Antonio Argir, and Andrej Lasič, so that the team will continue to manage the Group in the future as efficiently as we have so far, to continue to operate successfully, and to meet strategic commitments to our stakeholders.

“One of our key commitments remains putting clients first by understanding them and enhancing their customer experience. We plan to monetize opportunities and synergies within the Group, thereby becoming a regional champion. The commitment we hold especially close to our hearts however, is, of course, the sustainability of businesses we support with our services, as well as the sustainability of our own activities. In 2022, we intend to make this even more tangible throughout the Group. For example, to support the shift towards a low-carbon economy and finance the transition, we plan to expand the product portfolio with loans dedicated to supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy production. We also plan to make required steps in the direction of obtaining our first ESG rating. All of this while remaining true to the commitment of creating added value to our stakeholders and to a dividend payout of EUR 100 million, albeit in two tranches,” explained NLB’s CEO Blaž Brodnjak.

You may find key highlights of the NLB Groups’ business operations in Q1 2022, Interim Report and Investor presentation on the links below.

More information about the NLB Group business results in Q1 2022 will be presented during a webcast, hosted by the Management Board of NLB d.d., on Thursday, 12 May 2022, at 15.25 CET/13.25 GMT. This time, the webcast will be hosted live during the NLB Investor Day, however, all interested stakeholder will, as usual, also be available to follow it online here. Members of the Management Board will receive and address your questions. You may post them live, via web app available on the link above, or you may simply send them to the email address IR@nlb.si.

NLB Communications

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