In a difficult market environment Commerzbank achieved an operating profit of EUR 1,216 million in the financial year 2012. This is well above the previous year’s figure of EUR 507 million.The Core Bank achieved an operating profit of EUR 2.6 billion in the reporting period. Due to extraordinary charges, especially from the sale of Bank Forum and the depreciation on deferred tax accruals, net profit amounted to EUR 6 million.
“2012 was another eventful financial year with many challenges. Much was achieved: as planned, non-strategic portfolios were wound down and risks reduced, cost management was rigorously implemented, and the Bank made further progress in strengthening its capital structure. In a persistently difficult market environment, we laid the strategic foundations for future growth and profitability. Implementing these measures rigorously will be a key goal for Commerzbank in the coming years”, said Martin Blessing, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Commerzbank in the 2012 Annual Report submitted today.
In the first half of 2012, Commerzbank presented a comprehensive package of measures designed to meet the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) capital requirements from its own resources. Thereby and with the help of further measures, Commerzbank strengthened its capital structure, such as in June 2012 through the payment of variable remuneration in shares. In view of the uncertainty in the financial markets, Commerzbank picked up the pace in the middle of the reported period of focusing on its core business and therefore in June 2012 we decided to withdraw completely from financing commercial real estate and shipping. Both divisions were transferred in their entirety to the new “Non-Core Assets” (NCA) run-off segment. In the course of its ongoing review of Group strategy, Commerzbank has also sold its stake in Bank Forum.
At its Investors’ Day held in November 2012, Commerzbank introduced its strategic agenda for the period to 2016. In the next few years Commerzbank intends to adapt its business model to the changing framework conditions in the financial industry and pursue focused growth. In the period to 2016, the Bank intends to invest over EUR 2.0 billion into the earnings power of the core business, implement additional efficiency measures to keep costs stable and continue to improve its capital base. In accordance with its clear strategic orientation on the needs of its customers, Commerzbank has also redesigned its international brand image.The previous brand promise, “Achieving more together”, has been replaced by “The bank at your side”.
“This underlines Commerzbank’s approach as a fair and competent bank which rigorously focuses on the needs of its customers. Our objective is clear. We want to create a new way of banking that unites modern technologies, innovative products and traditional values. We believe that this gives Commerzbank a competitive edge and enables us to secure and expand our position as the leading bank for private and corporate customers in Germany and Poland over the long term, even in what remains a challenging environment”, said Blessing.
For 2012, the individual financial statements of Commerzbank AG pursuant to the provisions of the German Commercial Code (HGB) allowed the payment of distributions on certain capital instruments. As already announced, no dividend is being paid for 2012 however. Detailed information about the total monetary remuneration of the board members can be found in the remuneration report (pages 35 to 47). The number of employees of the Commerzbank Group as of the end of December 2012 was 53,601 (page 113).
2013 will again not be easy for Commerzbank in terms of the achievable earnings. Given the ongoing challenging conditions in the economy and the capital markets, the earnings situation will remain tough in the banking industry as a whole. But based on the strategic positioning of Commerzbank and the growth initiatives it has introduced, the Bank is convinced that it is well equipped to deal with these future challenges.
Commerzbank is a leading bank in Germany and Poland. It is also present worldwide in all markets for its customers as a partner to the business world. With the business areas Private Customers, Mittel-standsbank, Corporates & Markets and Central & Eastern Europe, it offers its private and corporate clients as well as institutional investors the banking and capital market services they need. With some 1,200 branches Commerzbank has one of the densest branch networks among German private banks. In total, Commerzbank boasts nearly 15 million private customers, as well as 1 million business and corporate clients. In 2012, it generated revenues of just under EUR 10 billion with approximately 56,000 employees on average.
This release contains forward-looking statements.Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. In this release, these statements concern the expected future business of Commerzbank, efficiency gains and expected synergies, expected growth prospects and other opportunities for an increase in value of Commerzbank as well as expected future financial results, restructuring costs and other financial developments and information. These forward-looking statements are based on the management’s current expectations, estimates and projections. They are subject to a number of assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results and developments to differ materially from any future results and developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the conditions in the financial markets in Germany, in Poland, elsewhere in Europe and other regions from which Commerzbank derives a substantial portion of its revenues and in which Commerzbank holds a substantial portion of its assets, the development of asset prices and market volatility, potential defaults of borrowers or trading counterparties, the implementation of Commerzbank’s strategic initiatives, the reliability of Commerzbank’s risk management policies, procedures and methods, and other risks. Forward-looking statements therefore speak only as of the date they are made.Commerzbank has no obligation to periodically update or release any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.