Rabobank Group satisfied with 2004 annual results (NL)

Rabobank Group is highly satisfied with the financial results achieved in the past year. “Despite the uncertain economic recovery, we achieved a successful result”, said Bert Heemskerk during the presentation of the 2004 annual results. The net profit of Rabobank Group rose by 12% to EUR 1,536 million, which is in line with the long-term target. The Group performed well in all sectors.

According to Heemskerk, “This handsome result was mainly achieved by a strong growth of total income. Although the interest income was under pressure, total income increased by 11%. Virtually all Group entities reported growth in income.”

Heemskerk is positive about 2005. “Barring unforeseen circumstances, I expect we will be able to sustain the upward trend in the long-term development of our results.” Rabobank is optimistic about the economic recovery. “I expect the economy to grow further, albeit slightly, with export growth levelling off and a further recovery of domestic spending. Rabobank Group can benefit from this,” said Heemskerk.

In 2005, Rabobank will report under International Financial Reporting Standards for the first time.

Real Estate
Rabobank Group's real estate business, which comprises FGH Bank and Rabo Vastgoed, had a profitable year. In 2004, it achieved an operating profit before taxation of EUR 85 million. Because of the acquisition of FGH Bank in October 2003, a proper results comparison cannot be made. FGH Bank provided a large number of new loans. Rabo Vastgoed was successful in the completion of a number of projects. This resulted in an increase in interest income, which also includes project income.

Income and expenses
Income was €117 million, more than 90% of which is interest income. In the year under review, operating expenses were €32 million.

Loans portfolio
FGH Bank achieved record new business of €2.4 billion, despite the fact that the number of transactions in the Dutch market generally was not particularly high because of the scarce supply of high-value real estate. FGH Bank's loans portfolio grew by 58% to €6.5 (4.1) billion, €1.1 billion of which comes from De Lage Landen Vastgoedfinanciering. Around 69% of FGH Bank's portfolio relates to investment financing, 10% to financing for own commercial use, 8% to ‘uitpond’ financing (i.e. selling rented houses to the sitting tenants) and 13% to other loans (project, land and trade financing).

Order portfolio
Rabo Vastgoed has achieved strong expansion of its operations in recent years. It buys land in order to build a strategic position for future projects. The order portfolio, which consists of approved and current projects, grew 6% to €3.6 (3.3) billion. In 2004, Rabo Vastgoed’s land portfolio grew by 6% to 1,790 (1,694) hectares.

Source: Rabobank

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