The bank continued its lending activities to both business sector and individual clients. The volume of loans provided to clients grew by 15.3% year on year to CZK 378.9 billion and loan-to-deposit ratio reached 67.8% at the end of the quarter. Prudent financial management led to achieving capital adequacy of 12.1% as of the end of March. The operating cost-income ratio, an indicator of operating efficiency, reached the excellent figure of 40.2%.
The published values are unaudited consolidated results under IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).
KB Group successfully continued to increase its number of clients. The total number of Group customers neared 2.7 million, of which Komerční banka itself accounted for 1,632,000 clients at the end of March, an increase of 43,000 as compared with the first quarter of 2008. Of this number, individual customers comprised 1,349,000 while the Bank had 283,000 clients among businesses.
Modrá pyramida stavební spořitelna (Modrá pyramida) served 731,000 customers. At 492,000, the number of supplementary pension insurance participants at Penzijní fond KB approached the half-million mark. The number of active clients of the consumer financing company ESSOX increased to 244,000 as of the end of March.
An excellent capital and liquidity position enabled Komerční banka to continue in prudent development of its lending activities. The total value of granted loans increased by 15.3% year-on-year to CZK 378.9 billion, of which loans to individual clients accounted for 43%. The volume of mortgages to individuals continued to grow and reached CZK 92.6 billion, an 18.8% increase year on year, even though sales of new mortgages decreased by approximately 32% due to lower demand. Modrá pyramida's loan portfolio expanded by 18.2% year on year to CZK 40.5 billion. Consumer loans provided by KB and ESSOX grew by 14.7% to CZK 29.3 billion.
The volume of the Group's loans to companies and entrepreneurs expanded by 13.1% to CZK 210.9 billion. Loans provided by KB to small businesses and entrepreneurs rose by 15.3% to CZK 23.4 billion, and loans to corporations climbed by 13.2% to CZK 184.9 billion. As of the end of March, the volume of receivables financed by Factoring KB had dropped by 9.2% to CZK 2.6 billion.
Deposits remained stable year on year and totalled CZK 538.8 billion. The share of deposits from individuals in the Group's total deposits reached 46%. Individual clients' deposits in KB increased by 7.0% to CZK 156.9 billion. Modrá pyramida customers' savings rose by 1.7% to CZK 64.8 billion, while Penzijní fond clients' assets grew by 11.6% to CZK 26.0 billion. In the first quarter, corporations and entrepreneurs were drawing upon their deposit reserves and their deposits in the Group thus fell by 2.2% to CZK 286.0 billion.
The financial crisis continued to limit clients' interest in mutual funds. Sales of IKS/SGAM funds in the KB Group network decreased year on year by 33.8% to CZK 2.0 billion, while the volume of assets under management in these funds fell by 14.8% to CZK 36.5 billion.
The Platinum payment card belongs among the most interesting innovations in the first quarter. This card has been designed for the most demanding clients and brings its holders an exceptional range of advantages, including assistance services and superior travel insurance that also covers against the risk of theft or damage of commonly used business trip items such as notebooks, PDAs, mobile handsets or commercial samples, as well as golf and skiing equipment. Improved features of travel insurance has also been attached to other types of cards since February. The insurance coverage limits have been increased, the variety of insured risks have been widened and the travel insurance from now on covers family members. The "Hypotéka bez obav" mortgage product allows customers to flexibly increase or decrease the monthly instalment amount or to defer payment for up to three months. It is also possible to arrange insurance against inability to pay.
KB's distribution network meanwhile continued limited expansion towards the target of 400 branches. At the end of March, the number of branches thus reached 397. New branches were opened at the start of the year, one in Olomouc and two in Brno. At the same time, 58.7% of clients were using at least one direct banking channel, such as internet and telephone banking. The number of sales representatives serving the customers of Modrá pyramida reached 1,619.
Compared to the first quarter of last year, the number of payment cards used by KB customers increased by 3.5% to 1,693,000. Of these, credit cards accounted for 243,000 (growth by 13.9%). ESSOX registered 135,000 active credit cards, a 41.7% increase year on year.
In February 2009, Komerční banka received the prestigious "Best Deal of 2008" award from Global Trade Review for an export buyer's credit financing the delivery and installation of health care equipment for a clinic in Almaty, Kazakhstan.