Reopening boost for the Norwegian business sector

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DNB’s profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 was NOK 6 155 million, an increase of NOK 881 million from the corresponding quarter last year.

The reopening of society has boosted the level of activity in the Norwegian economy. With unemployment back at a pre-pandemic level and companies showing a high willingness to invest, DNB is experiencing a rush of customer enquiries.

This growth reflects the strong resilience of the Norwegian business community, and once again large parts of the business sector are going at full speed. We are pleased to see that many of our corporate customers are including us in their growth plans. Activity has been historically high in DNB Markets this quarter, and we have raised capital for ensuring growth and creating new jobs. We have also seen strong growth in loans to companies,” says CEO Kjerstin Braathen.

Prospera has named DNB the best-liked bank among large corporate customers in Norway, after interviewing 1 145 major Norwegian companies in 2021.

After a year of high activity and good results in all areas of the bank, DNB is in a very solid financial position. At the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of NOK 9.75 per share for 2021, in line with the Group’s dividend policy. 

Record-high activity resulting in profitable growth

Increased customer activity also contributed to a growth in net interest income of NOK 806 million, or 8.5 per cent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, despite historically low interest rates in the market.

Income from customer-driven activities (commission and fee income) increased by NOK 555 million, or 22.2 per cent, compared with the corresponding quarter last year. This growth was mainly driven by higher income from DNB Markets and long-term saving, in addition to income from money transfer and banking services. 

Loans to customers increased by NOK 56.8 billion, or 3.6 per cent, during the course of 2021. Customer deposits increased by NOK 140.6 billion, or 12.7 per cent, during the same period. 

A driving force for sustainable transition

During the course of 2021, DNB strengthened its expertise on renewable value chains, as well as its focus on this area. The bank aims to be a driving force for sustainable transition and will facilitate financing of NOK 1 500 billion for the sustainable transition by 2030. 

“We are well on the way to achieving this ambitious goal, and last year we financed or facilitated sustainable activities worth more than NOK 200 billion, together with our customers. We are receiving a great number of enquiries from companies that are developing new technology or undergoing a sustainable transition. This reinforces my belief that banks and the business sector will play a key role in achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” says Braathen.

Financial key figures for the fourth quarter of 2021 (figures for the corresponding quarter in 2020):

  • Pre-tax operating profit before impairment amounted to NOK 8.2 billion (6.8)
  • Profit was NOK 6.2 billion (5.3)
  • Earnings per share were NOK 3.79 (3.28)
  • Return on equity was 10.3 per cent (8.9)
  • Cost/income ratio was 43.9 per cent (48.8)
  • Common equity Tier 1 (CET 1) capital ratio was 19.4 per cent (18.7)

Financial key figures for 2021 (corresponding figures for 2020):

  • Pre-tax operating profit before impairment amounted to NOK 31.9 billion (33.0)
  • Profit for the year was NOK 25.4 billion (19.8)
  • Earnings per share were NOK 15.74 (12.04)
  • Return on equity was 10.7 per cent (8.4)
  • Cost/income ratio was 43.0 per cent (41.5)

DNB’s financial ambitions remain unchanged: a return on equity (ROE) above 12 per cent, a cost ratio (C/I) of less than 40 per cent and a long-term dividend policy where more than half of the annual profit is to be paid out to our owners. DNB’s ambition for the capital level (CET1 capital ratio) has been adjusted from 17.1 to 17.6 per cent to reflect new capital expectations from Finanstilsynet (the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway). DNB is changing its tax guidance from 22 to 23 per cent.

For further information:

Rune Helland, Head of Investor Relations, tel.: (+47) 23 26 84 00 / 97 71 32 50

Thomas Midteide, Group Executive Vice President of Communications & Sustainability, tel.: (+47) 96 23 20 17

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Securities Trading Act.