Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank increases net interest income and new business in first half of 2009 (DE)

Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank AG(WestImmo) can look back on a successful first half of 2009. The bank achieved net interest income of €86.9 mln. in the first six months of the year, after €84.4 mln. in the same period the previous year (+ 3%).

The trading result improved sharply, rising 16% to reach €11 mln. (previous year: €9.5 mln.). As syndicate business did not pick up significantly until the end of the second quarter, net fee and commission income was, at €15.9 mln., below the figure for the first half of 2008 (€18.8 mln.).

The IFRS consolidated result before tax came to €42.8 mln. in the first half of 2009, 29% below the €60.6 mln. for the comparable period in the previous year.

The consolidated annual net profit fell from €51 mln. to €30.8 mln. A key factor in the decline was the increase in the pro rata credit risk provision to -€29.3 mln. compared with -€10.0 mln. in the previous year. -€11 mln. of this was connected with the restructuring of loan-type equity participations in the net income from non-current financial assets. This rise in the risk provision for commercial real estate loans, which is moderate by market standards, generally underlines the reliable quality of WestImmo's loan portfolio. General administrative expenses climbed a modest 1.5% to reach €41.5 mln. (previous year: €40.9 mln.).

Given the worldwide recession and the difficult situation on real estate markets, the half-year results offer a sound basis for the further expansion of the bank's market position.

"WestImmo shows that the business model of a commercial real estate bank is a viable one. Despite the challenging situation on the real estate markets, we have achieved good half-year results", commented Peter Knopp, Chairman of WestImmo's Managing Board, on the figures. "We were continuously active in our target markets and this enabled us to widen our client base and boost our reputation still further."

On June 30, 2009 the core capital ratio (Tier I ratio) stood at 8.3%, roughly the same figure as at the end of 2008 (8.4%). On a 12-month comparison this key ratio has risen by 0.9 percentage points. The cost/income ratio improved slightly to 36.5% compared with the already low figure for the first half of 2008 of 36.6% on the back of the consistently stringent cost management by WestImmo. The balance sheet total climbed 4.1% to €27.2bn compared with the end of 2008, of which €15.5bn comprised receivables from commercial real estate customers (+3.8%).

New business increased to €3.1 billion
The bank's continuous presence on the market and its competitive strength are reflected in the figures for new business. In the first half of 2009 WestImmo committed €3.1 bln. in commercial real estate financing, up 3.3% on the figure for the same period the previous year (€3.0 bln.). This rise can be largely attributed to an expansion of business with institutional investors in Germany. While the volume of new financing in France and the USA was more or less on a par with the previous year, it fell back in central and eastern Europe. WestImmo's exposure in Japan, Great Britain and Spain was hampered by the difficult market situation.

WestImmo's collaboration with the savings banks continues to develop positively. The volume realised in conjunction with partners came to €153 mln. in the first half of the year, 17.5% more than the figure for the same period the previous year. WestImmo participates in commercial real estate financing operations that the savings banks are unable to handle alone due to the size or because of risk aspects and offers the institutions a stake in financing consortiums. Syndication volumes also rose pleasingly. In the first six months alone, savings banks from six German regions participated to the tune of €130 mln. in German commercial real estate lending by WestImmo. This is already well above the figure for the whole of 2008 (€90 mln.).

In its refinancing activities WestImmo issued Pfandbriefe and uncovered bonds in a volume of €2.2 bln. (previous year: €1.5 bln.) in the first half of 2009

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