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ots-News: English

Zürcher Kantonalbank: 2018 net profit rises to CHF 788 million (DOCUMENT)

08.02.2019 | 07:00 Uhr | Ressort: Economy | Quelle: Presseportal

Zürich (ots) -

- Very good operating performance driven by solid income of CHF
2,320 million and strong cost discipline

- Significant growth in operating profit of 14% to CHF 892 million

- Strong net inflow of new money totalling CHF 18.0 billion, with
pleasing inflows across all business areas

- Customer assets increase to CHF 295.2 billion

- Capital position remains extremely strong with total capital
ratio of 20.2% and leverage ratio of 6.8%

- Canton and municipalities to receive CHF 345 million, in line
with the previous year

Zurich, 8 February 2019 - In the financial year 2018 - after the
allocation of CHF 200 million to reserves for general banking risks -
Zürcher Kantonalbank generated a net profit of CHF 788 million, an
increase of 1% compared to the previous year. This was driven
primarily by solid income growth as well as continued strong cost
discipline. The Canton of Zurich and the municipalities will receive
CHF 345 million, in line with the previous year.

Commenting on the financial result, Martin Scholl, Chief Executive
Officer of Zürcher Kantonalbank, stated: "In a challenging
environment, we delivered a very good operating result for the
financial year 2018. This once again demonstrates the value of our
broadly diversified business model and our strategy, which places an
emphasis on continuity."

Turning to the outlook, Martin Scholl added: "With increasing
signs of an economic slowdown, as well as numerous geopolitical
uncertainties, it is difficult to provide a reliable forecast for the
current year. However, we are confident that even in a continued
challenging environment, we can generate a pleasing result thanks to
our strong position, our balanced business model and our universal
bank strategy."

Solid income growth

Operating income totalled CHF 2,320 million in the financial year
2018, following a record result of CHF 2,336 million in the previous
year. The slight growth in income from interest operations and in net
commission and fee income in 2018 did not fully offset the decline in
trading income. Other ordinary income increased significantly on the
back of higher investment income.

Net interest income totalled CHF 1,213 million in the financial
year 2018, corresponding to an increase of 1%. This includes a charge
for changes in allowances for defaults and losses from interest
operations of CHF 10 million (previous year: CHF 9 million). Volumes
in the mortgage business - the main income stream - increased by 2.7%
and thus grew somewhat more slowly than the market as a whole. At the
end of 2018, mortgage loans therefore rose by CHF 2.2 billion to CHF
81.3 billion.

Following significant growth in the previous year, a further
increase in net commission and fee income to CHF 776 million (+1%)
was recorded in the financial year 2018. While turbulent market
conditions had a negative impact on customer assets and therefore
also on income, the launch of the new Investment World had a positive
effect. Income from the other service business also improved
significantly, especially in the area of payment transactions.

The market environment, which was impacted by geopolitical risks,
led to subdued levels of client activity in the trading business.
Against this backdrop, trading income declined by 14% to CHF 286
million compared to the previous year. Market risks in the trading
book (Value-at-Risk with a 10-day holding period) averaged CHF 12
million, and thus remained at a low level.

Continued strong cost discipline with a stable cost/income ratio

Driven by continued strong cost discipline, operating expenses
declined slightly to CHF 1,430 million, compared to CHF 1,434 million
in the previous year. The slight increase in other operating
expenses, which rose to CHF 428 million (+1%), was more than offset
by lower personnel costs of CHF 1,002 million (-1%). At 61.4%, the
cost/income ratio remained at a good level for this type of business

Impairments on participations as well as the depreciation of
tangible fixed assets and intangible assets rose by CHF 72 million to
a total of CHF 192 million. The increase was primarily attributable
to an extraordinary goodwill amortization at Swisscanto in connection
with the sale of Swisscanto Funds Centre Ltd.

In contrast, changes in provisions and other impairments and
losses had a positive impact totalling CHF 194 million on the income
statement, driven mainly by the reversal of provisions recorded in
connection with the settlement of the US tax dispute. Against this
backdrop, operating income rose by 14% to CHF 892 million in line
with the previous year.

Extraordinary income grew by CHF 95 million to CHF 103 million
compared to the previous year. This was mainly attributable to the
sale of Swisscanto Funds Centre Ltd. in London to Clearstream. The
creation of reserves for general banking risks reduced the bottom
line by CHF 200 million.

This resulted in a net profit of CHF 788 million (+1%).

Stable dividend for the Canton and municipalities

The Canton of Zurich and the municipalities will participate in
the profit generated by Zürcher Kantonalbank with a dividend
totalling CHF 358 million. This represents a slight decrease (-1%)
compared to the previous year. However, this is due exclusively to a
lower share of the cost of capital: The sum paid to the Canton to
cover the cost of capital decreased by CHF 5 million compared to the
previous year to CHF 13 million. Excluding the share of the cost of
capital, the Canton of Zurich and the municipalities will receive CHF
345 million, in line with the previous year. Of this sum, a dividend
of CHF 230 million will be paid to the Canton of Zurich and a
dividend of CHF 115 million to the political municipalities.

In addition, the Canton received CHF 22 million for the state
guarantee (previous year: CHF 23 million).

Pleasing increase in customer assets due to very good net inflow
of new money

Customer assets rose to CHF 295.2 billion at the end of 2018,
corresponding to an increase of around 2% compared to the end of
2017. This growth was driven by the strong net inflow of new money,
which totalled CHF 18.0 billion. All business areas contributed to
the pleasing generation of new money, particularly the Corporate
Clients business, which recorded very strong inflows. In contrast,
negative market developments reduced customer assets by CHF 11.6

Extremely solid capital position

Zürcher Kantonalbank further strengthened its capital base in the
financial year 2018. Eligible capital totalled CHF 12,658 million at
the end of 2018, compared to CHF 12,019 million at the end of 2017.
The total capital ratio was 20.2%, compared to 18.8% in the previous
year, and the common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio was 17.8%, compared
to 16.5%. The leverage ratio was unchanged at 6.8% at the end of

With its extremely solid capital position, Zürcher Kantonalbank
significantly exceeds all regulatory requirements. This is also the
case for the additional gone-concern requirements that entered into
effect at the start of 2019 for systemically important banks focusing
on the Swiss market. These additional requirements have to be met by

The most relevant statements on the annual result presented in a
short video: www.zkb.ch/gewinnausschuettung

Zürcher Kantonalbank

Zürcher Kantonalbank is a leading universal bank in the Zurich
economic area with Swiss roots and international reach. It is an
independent, incorporated public-law institution of the Canton of
Zurich and has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard
& Poor's, Moody's and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). With more than 5,000
employees, Zürcher Kantonalbank offers its clients a comprehensive
range of products and services. The bank's core activities include
financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital
market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and the card
business. Zürcher Kantonalbank provides clients and distribution
partners with a comprehensive range of investment and retirement
provision products and services.

Zürcher Kantonalbank Media Relations, telephone +41 44 292 29 79,