FIMBank plc - 2006 Full-Year Results & Dividend Announcement

On 21 February 2007, the Board of Directors of FIMBank plc approved the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2006.

The Directors will be recommending the payment of a net dividend of US$0.035 per share (2005: US$0.014 per share) at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place on 12 April 2007. Shareholders will have the option of receiving the dividend either in cash or in new shares at a price which is yet to be determined. Shareholders as at close of trading on 23 February 2007 for settlement Wednesday 28 February will be entitled to the scrip dividend and will receive notice of the Annual General Meeting. The shares will trade ex-dividend as from Monday 26 February.

During the twelve months ended 31 December 2006, the FIMBank Group’s total operating income amounted to US$23.9 million, 49.3% above the income in 2005. The Group generated net interest income of US$9.2 million, a rise of 50% compared to the income in the previous year. Likewise, total non-interest income climbed by 49% to US$14.7 million on the back of a 36% rise in net fee and commission income to US$10.9 million largely driven by the improved performance of the Bank. Net trading income increased by 80% to US$3.2 million following a 36% rise in the net trading results on forfaiting assets at London Forfaiting Company Limited. Dividend income, mainly comprising a one-off dividend from the Bank’s shareholding in Eastern Prospect BV amounted to US$0.6 million.

Non-interest expenses, comprising administrative expenses and depreciation, increased by 25% to US$16.2 million. The share of profits from the 38.5% shareholding in Global Trade Finance Ltd. in India amounted to US$2.55 million, significantly higher than the share of profits generated in 2005 (US$0.9 million). The group’s cost to income ratio after taking into account these share of profits improved to 61.5% from last year’s level of 77.1%. During 2006, net impairment losses for the Group stood at US$1.94 million (2005: US$0.4 million), reflecting an increase in a specific impairment charge on an impaired forfaiting asset within LFC’s portfolio. Meanwhile, during the year LFC recognised a further deferred tax asset of US$3.4 million and this reduction is recognised in the income statement after being tested for impairment. The Group profits for the year stood at US$7.6 million, an increase of 181% over the profit of US$2.7 million 2005, with the recognition of US$3.4 million in deferred tax asset at LFC, being fully adjusted to the carrying amount of goodwill at Group level. The Group’s diluted earnings per share stood at US$0.086.

Group total assets during the year increased by 57% to US$463.5 million with shareholders’ funds at US$62.7 million as at 31 December 2006 resulting in a net asset value per share of US$0.73. Commitments outstanding for the Group as at 31 December 2006, mainly in the form of documentary credits and confirmed letters of credit, amounted to US$244 million (2005: US$125 million). The Group’s profitability ratios improved during the year. The return on equity (profit after tax divided by average shareholders’ funds) increased to 12.9% (2005: 5.2%) whilst the return on assets (pre-tax profit divided by average assets) similarly improved to 1.23% from 1.15%. The Bank’s solvency ratio stood at 20.5% at the balance sheet date, compared to a minimum regulatory requirement of 8%.

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