FIMBank plc - Full-Year Results

The 2009 full-year results of FIMBank plc were published following a Board of Directors meeting held on Tuesday 16 March 2010.  The Directors recommended the payment of a scrip dividend of US$0.01156 per share. Shareholders have the option of receiving the dividend in either cash or by the issue of new shares at a price which still has to be announced. Those shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 25 March will be entitled to this dividend.

During the year ended 31 December 2009, the FIMBank Group generated a profit after tax of US$1.6 million. While this represents a substantial decline from the US$24.8 million registered in 2008, the sale of shareholding in the Indian joint-venture factoring company Global Trade Finance Ltd in 2008 contributed to a total profit of US$23.8 million.

The FIMBank Group’s net interest income dropped by 38% in 2009 to US$8.8 million while the net interest margin improved to 50% (2008: 43%). Net fee and commission income rose by 7% to US$20.2 million reflecting the ability of the Group to maintain a consistent flow of fee-driven transactions and optimizing on the profitability of new business. The Group continued to experience negative impacts on the fair value adjustments of trading assets which resulted in an aggregate downward mark-to-market adjustment of US$6.9 million (2008: US$2.8 million). This was partly offset by realised gains on trading assets of US$1 million (2008: US$1.5 million). On the other hand, the recovery in the international bond markets enabled the Group to register realized and unrealized gains on other financial assets of US$3.8 million compared to the US$8.6 million in unrealized markdowns in 2008.

During 2009, the FIMBank Group disposed of its minority interest held by the Bank in LB Factors Ltd at a small profit. FIMBank sought to contain costs as evidenced by the 13.6% decline in administrative expenses.

Meanwhile, the Group’s Egyptian-based factoring 40% owned subsidiary incurred a loss of US$0.4 million. In 2008 the share of profits of associates of US$1.74 million also included the profitability of GTF from the start of the year until date of sale.

FIMBank stated that 2009 was a difficult and challenging year and the Group’s performance cannot be compared to the 2008 financial results since these were heavily impacted by the exceptional one-time gain which arose from the disposal of the minority shareholding in GTF at a substantial profit. The Group also stated that the outlook for 2010 is more positive and write-backs may be expected. Liquidity and capital adequacy ratios have been maintained at healthy levels and together with continued improvement in efficiencies, more available and diversified access to funding and a more optimistic economic outlook for 2010, the business performance of FIMBank should gradually return to its normal levels. The Group also explained that the breakthroughs it made in the formation of factoring joint-ventures in the Russian and Indian markets are significant in their own way and demonstrate confidence in the Group’s business strategy. FIMBank concluded that their outlook for 2010 is one of an improved business sentiment and higher profitability.

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