Net earnings came in at PLN 742.6m for 4Q12, down 7.0% q/q and 3.6% y/y, above both our expectation of PLN 720.3m and the consensus estimate of PLN 724.3m (range of PLN 660m – PLN 816m, according to PAP). This was driven mainly by better than expected costs containment, but also solid core revenues. Overall we expect positive market reaction supported by management recommendation for DPS of PLN 8.39 per share (5.2% dividend yield and 75% dividend pay-out).
Net interest income came at PLN 1,221m (+1.2% q/q) slightly above expectations of PLN 1,200m. Net interest margin increased slightly (by 1bp q/q to 3.27% on average assets), driven by declining pressure on deposit spreads, despite growing deposit base by 1.1% q/q. At the same time there was a decline in asset margin (to 5.93% by 21bp over average interest earning assets). Net loan growth came in line with expectations this quarter (+0.7% q/q).
Non - interest income came broadly in line with expectations despite weaker trading gains. Net fee income (+4.3% q/q) came above expectations. Net trading income (-42% q/q) came slightly below expectations, the result includes some PLN 44m income on investment.
Operating costs came below expectations at PLN 878m (-3.3% q/q and - 4.6% y/y). This was driven by lower personnel expenses (-4.2% q/q) on natural attrition and presumably some releases of bonus accruals, while lower non-personnel expenses (-2.0% q/q) has been expected given less
intense marketing expenses in the period.
Net provisioning requirement (+4.1% q/q, 73bp over average gross loans) came in broadly in line with expectations. Asset quality has deteriorated further with the level of impaired loans increased to 7.3% from 7.1% in 3Q12, whilst coverage declined to 58.8% from 59.8% in 3Q12.