FIMBank plc - Full Year Results

The Board of Directors of FIMBank p.l.c. today published the preliminary profits statement for the year ended 31st December 2003. As a result of the acquisition of London Forfaiting Company (LFC) in the last quarter 2003, the financials just published show the consolidated position of the FIMBank Group as at the end of the year.

During the twelve months ended 31 December 2003, the Group generated a net interest income of USD2.4 million, 9.6% lower than the net interest income earned by the Bank during 2002 following a further 25 basis point drop in USD interest rates during the month of June to a low of 1%, the lowest level in 45 years.

The net interest margin works out at 69.6%, slightly higher than the margin earned in 2002. Other net operating income increased by 24% to USD6.8 million. This is inclusive of a gain of approximately USD1.4 million in dealing profits arising from the favourable exchange rate movement of GBP against the USD during the acquisition of LFC. In total, operating income amounted to USD9.2 million compared to USD8.1 million during the twelve months ended 31 December 2002.

Group administrative expenses increased by 47% to USD6.3 million and the charge for deprecation amounted to USD0.5 million (2002: USD0.3 million). FIMBank’s cost to income ratio climbed to 74% from 55.9% in the previous
year.

The Group’s operating profit before impairment allowances and amortisation of intangible assets amounted to USD2.4 million, compared to a figure of USD3.6 million generated by the Bank in 2002. However, in 2003, the Bank’s operating profit before impairment allowances and amortisation of intangible assets amounted to USD3.7 million, a slight improvement over the previous year.

The main factor that contributed to the previous year’s overall loss incurred by the Bank was the net impairment provision of USD9.9 million as a result of the uncollectibility of funds arising from three fraudulent transactions in Egypt, Azerbaijan and Malta. In 2003, the Bank’s net impairment provision amounted to a mere USD60,289 whereas the Group financial statements shows a net impairment reversal of USD0.6 million.

During the period under review, the Group incurred a charge of USD0.6 million relating to the amortisation of intangible assets. This relates to the difference between the price paid for LFC and the net tangible assets of this company.

The Group profit before tax for the twelve months ended 31 December 2003 amounted to USD2.4 million, a significant improvement compared to a loss of USD6.4 million in 2002. During 2003 the Bank’s profit amounted to USD3.3 million. Group earnings per share amounted to 4.99c compared to a loss per share of 13.32c in 2002. The earnings per share for 2003 has been calculated
on the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year of 46,110,216 as a result of the increase in share capital of 20,006,457 shares in November 2003 following the rights issue.

The Board of Directors has recommended the payment of a net dividend of 1.2c per share to all shareholders on the Company’s register as at close of trading on Tuesday 30 March 2004. Following approval of the dividend during the Annual General Meeting due on 7 May 2004, the dividend will be paid by not later than 14 May 2004.

Group total assets as at 31 December 2003 amounted to USD175.9 million with shareholders’ funds at USD47.6 million. The net asset value per share works out at USD0.72. FIMBank’s return on average equity for 2003 is of 5.9% with a 1.6% return on average assets.

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