April 8, 2021
“In 2020, we learned a lot. We gained important insights that we might not have incorporated so rapidly without the pandemic experience. The year emphasised the importance of knowledge, experience, and trust between colleagues and between us and our clients. In the end, we in fact realised that we got a rare opportunity to further strengthen our ties and, most importantly, it also brought the importance of sustainable business and living to the forefront,” was the main message learned by NLB Supervisory Board at today’s meeting, referring to NLB Group’s 2020 Annual and Sustainability Reports.
Both reports, the NLB Group Annual Report 2020 and the NLB Group Sustainability Report 2020 were confirmed by the Supervisory Board and are available to all interested stakeholders. They illustrate that NLB Group as a systemic player is in the position to truly influence the social environment in which it operates, and will fulfil its mission to impact the quality of life in its home region.
In NLB Group, we have put the sustainability of our business decisions and actions at the very centre of our operations. We are committed to this by adhering to MIGA and EBRD requirements, as well as by global United Nations Principles for responsible banking. We claim that sustainability is not just something one puts on paper, but an actual series of decisions and actions that help us achieve our goal to become a company with an important positive impact on the environment in our home region.
This commitment already brought results in 2020. The pandemic fuelled our drive for digitization and sparked us to further expand the range of our digital services, available 24/7, as well as to take even more decisive steps towards paperless business operations. It has also changed the paradigm of how we understand our work environment and accelerated the transition to working from home, which will significantly reduce the need for our own office space and travel, and also our carbon footprint as a result.
We are also enormously proud of our first Group-wide CSR project with the clearly defined sustainability component called #HelpFrame, that has really proven our genuine loyalty and support for local small businesses, and addressed the improvement in the quality of life in this part of the world. By keeping sustainability in our minds, we have also offered our clients the Green Housing Loan and supported green investment opportunities.
As shown in the preliminary unaudited financial results of NLB Group, 2020 was, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic hibernation, a very solid year. The Group’s results demonstrated the robustness and resilience of its sustainable business model, with profit after tax amounting to EUR 269.7 million, strongly affected by the acquisition of Komercijalna banka Beograd, with a positive impact of negative goodwill in the amount of EUR 137.9 million.
At today’s meeting, the Supervisory Board also confirmed the Management Board’s proposal to convene the 36th General Meeting of NLB d.d., which is planned to take place on June 14, both live and online.
At the General Meeting of NLB d.d., the shareholders will vote on the proposal regarding the allocation of distributable profit for 2020. The Management and Supervisory Board of NLB d.d. will propose to the shareholders that EUR 24.8 million of the distributable profit shall be paid to the shareholders of NLB d.d. as dividends in two instalments: the first instalment in the total amount of EUR 12.0 million immediately after the General Meeting of NLB d.d. in June 2021, and the second instalment in the total amount of EUR 12.8 million after 30 September 2021, if the payment or assumption of the obligation to pay the second instalment were not contrary to the regulations, which currently apply on domestic level from Bank of Slovenia. The proposed amount represents the maximum amount currently allowed by ECB, while the Bank’s ambition to distribute in total EUR 92.2 million out of 2020 Group profit remains in place.
The General Meeting of NLB d.d. will also appoint a new member of the Supervisory Board, as the four-year mandate of current member Peter Groznik expires in 2021; as well as take note on various reports and vote on the proposal regarding the amendments and supplements to the Articles of Association of Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d., Ljubljana. More information about each item on the agenda for the 36th General Meeting of NLB d.d. will be available in the convocation, presumably at the beginning of May.
At today’s meeting, members of the Supervisory Board of NLB d.d. also took note of the reports submitted by the Bank’s experts and granted consent to transactions requiring Supervisory Board of NLB d.d. approval.