HSH shows € -1 million pre-tax result in H1

  • HSH on track with pre-tax profit of € 378 (previous year: 543) million in Core Bank
  • One-off payment of € -100 million in Q1 due for early termina-tion of the guarantee
  • CET1-ratio at high level of 16.0 % (31 Dec. 17: 15.4 %)
  • Admin expenses further reduced – down 9 % at € -223 million
  • CEO Ermisch: “We are forging ahead with our realignment.”

Hamburg/Kiel, August 29, 2018 - HSH Nordbank has continued to resolutely forge ahead with its multi-year transformation and reports a satisfactory result for the first half of 2018.

The operating performance, considerable cost savings and released loan loss provisions due to successfully restructured shipping loans almost entirely offset the expected heavy burdens associated with privatisation. The Bank’s capital and liquidity ratios remain at a high level.

“Following the signing at the end of February, privatisation is on the home straight and everyone involved is working hard towards its formal completion. We have established key conditions for this in the past few months and I’m convinced that we will be a successfully privatised bank in the fourth quarter. We continue to forge ahead with our realignment towards being an efficient commercial bank with a profitable, client-oriented approach,” said Stefan Ermisch, CEO of HSH Nordbank.

On 28 February 2018 a group of private-sector, mutually independent investors signed a purchase agreement for HSH Nordbank. These are Cerberus European Investments LP, J. C. Flowers & Co. LLC, GoldenTree Asset Management L.P., Centaurus Capital LP and BAWAG P.S.K. AG or investment funds initiated by them.

Privatisation weighs on Group result

The Group net result before taxes amounts to € -1 (prev. year: 173) million with a significant impact of privatisation-related factors such as the provision made in the first quarter for premature termination of the second-loss guarantee in the amount of € -100 million. In addition to the ongoing guarantee fees, the charges pertaining to the guarantee virtually doubled year on year to € -158 (-80) million. There were also restructuring costs of € -31 (-25) million as well as the annual contributions involving the bank levy and deposit guarantee fund amounting to € -34 (-41) million. Income from the operating business, other savings on the cost side and releases in loan loss provisioning of € 81 (-241) million exerted a positive effect. After taxes, the Group net result was € -77 (158) million.

The forward-looking Core Bank contributed a pre-tax profit of € 378 (543) million to the Group result. Expenses on restructuring and transformation as well as overall bank positions summarised under Others & Consolidation had an adverse effect, with a result before taxes of € -188 (-38) million. The pre-tax result of € -191 (-332) million in the Non-Core Bank, which is to be dissolved, mostly stems from the provision for premature guarantee termination.

Sales of securities scaled back – successful cost savings

Group’s total income came to € 341 (744) million, which was expected as in the previous year there was significantly greater income from the managed sale of securities, carried out to compensate for heavy burdens stemming from legacy portfolios in the Non-Core Bank. In the current financial year, the improved net interest income of € 286 (259) million made a significant contribution to total income. Above all, this reflected the positive new business with widening margins from the first to the second quarter of the year, along with a stable amount of interest-bearing receivables.

The positive trend on the cost side also continued in the first half of 2018. Administrative expenses were reduced further in the wake of the Bank’s successful cost cutting pro-grammes, namely by nine percent to € -223 (-246) million. The personnel expenses of € -99 (-113) million reflect the considerable reduction in the number of employees by 164 to 1,762 (full-time employees). In particular, savings on project and building costs brought operating expenses down to € -111 (-124) million.

Core Bank performing well

The Core Bank performed well and closed out the first half-year with net income before taxes of € 378 (543) million. The total income of € 435 (721) million reflects the scaled-back sales of securities, which were carried out to a significantly greater extent in the previous year to compensate for the burdens of non-performing legacy exposures in the Non-Core Bank at that time.

The Bank is adhering resolutely to its own risk/return parameters for new business. In total, new deals observing these in-house profitability requirements amounted including € 0,3 bil-lion for syndication to € 3.8 (4,4) billion, with margins on new business moving in a favoura-ble direction and widening considerably from the first to the second quarter of the year. In the Real Estate Clients segment, the Bank met its new business target with a figure of € 2.0 (2.3) billion thanks to its good market position. The Corporate Clients segment signed business worth € 1.2 (1.6) billion in a highly competitive environment. In the Shipping segment, the new business of € 0.3 (0.3) billion matched the previous year’s figure.

The proportion of the bank levy and deposit guarantee fund accounted for by the Core Bank of € -26 (-25) million was roughly at the previous year’s level. Guarantee expenses – including the settlement payment for termination of the guarantee – quadrupled versus the first half of 2017 and had a negative effect on the Core Bank result in the amount of € -41 (-10) million. Releases in loan loss provisioning of € 157 (9) million (incl. the hedging effect of the credit derivative), which are attributable to the encouraging trend on the shipping markets and successfully restructured loans in this segment, exerted a positive effect.

NPE-ratio of about 2 % upon closing – CET1-ratio remains at high level with 16 %

The Group’s loan loss provisioning amounted to € 81 (-241) million after currency effects and the hedging effect of the credit derivative.

As a consequence of applying IFRS 9 and the associated fair-value accounting for the portfolio transaction, the non-performing exposure ratio fell by more than half to 4.7 % (31 Dec. 2017: 10.4 %). Risk coverage is very solid at 63.3 % (31 Dec. 2017: 63.8%). Once the privatisation deal is closed, the Non-Core Bank’s portfolio of non-performing exposures will be sold to investors, leaving the Group almost entirely freed of legacy assets. At that time, the good asset quality, even by international standards, will be reflected in an NPE ratio of about 2 %.

The CET1-ratio improved to 16.0 % (31 Dec. 2017: 15.4 %), which is also a very solid level in a sector-wide comparison. The leverage ratio, which puts core capital in relation to business volume, likewise demonstrates the solidity of the balance sheet structure with a very good figure of 8.0 % (31 Dec. 2017: 7.7 %). The Group’s total assets were further reduced as planned, to € 64.5 (31 Dec. 2017: 70.4) billion, due to IFRS 9 fair-value accounting and the ongoing transformation process.


Formal closing of the sale – and thereby final completion of the change of ownership – is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018. Disproportionately heavy privatisation and restructuring costs will be incurred in the second half of 2018, meaning that the Bank still anticipates a full-year loss before taxes of about € -100 million. The outlook could change later in the year once the sale is closed and the switch to new ownership is completed.

Statement of income (€ m) Jan - June
Jan - June
Change in

Net interest income1 286 259 10
Net commission income 23 322 -28
Result from hedging -2 -9 78
Result from financial instruments categorised as FVPL2 -41 151 >-100
Net income from financial investments1, 3 75 311 >-100
Total income
Loan loss provisions (incl. credit derivative)4 81 -241 >100
Administrative expenses -223 -246 -9
Other operating result1 23 62 -63
Expenses for bank levy and deposit guarantee fund -34 -41 -17
Net income before restructuring and privatisation
Net income from restructuring and privatisation -31 -25 -24
Expenses for government guarantees -158 -80 98
Net income before tax
Income tax expenses -76 -15 >100
Group net result
Comprehensive income attributable to non-controlling interests 1 - -
Group net result attributable to HSH Nordbank shareholders -78 158 >-100

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Additional key figures of HSH Nordbank Group 30 June 2018 30 June 2017
Total assets (in Euro bn) 64.5 70.4
RWAs post-guarantee (in Euro bn) 24.8 26.2
Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio in %)5 16.0 15.4
Full-time employees (FTEs) 1,762 1,926
Cost-income ratio (in %) 61 32

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1 Reclassification of previous year’s figures due to amendments for IAS 1 resulting from IFRS 9

2 In the previous year (IAS 39) the item “trading income” (FVPL = Fair Value through Profit or Loss)

3 Including other income items

4 Including hedging effect of credit derivative second-loss guarantee

5 From March 2018, the capital ratios will no longer be shown taking into account the regulatory relief effect of the federal state guarantee. CET-1 quotes: 16 % in-period and 16 % not in-period (regulatory capital ratio)

The information contained in this press release does not constitute an offer for the sale of any type of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG securities. Securities of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG may not be sold in the United States without registration pursuant to US securities legislation, unless such a sale takes place on the basis of relevant exceptional provisions.

This press information can contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our beliefs and assumptions, on information currently available to us which we consider reliable. Forward-looking statements include all statements which are not historical facts, including information concerning future growth prospects and future economic developments.

Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions relating to future events and are subject to uncertainties, risks and other factors, a large number we cannot influence. Thus actual events can differ considerably from the forward-looking statements made. We make no warranty for the correctness or completeness of these statements or the actual occurrence of the statements made. Furthermore, we assume no obligation for updating the forward-looking statements after this information has been published.