Optiva Bank posted a consolidated net profit of 7.4 million kroons ($0.43 million) for the first quarter of 2000, a 2.5-fold increase over the same period a year ago. Return on equity grew from 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 1999 to 9.1 percent this year. Optiva's consolidated total assets at the end of March stood at 3.4 billion kroons, a drop of 100.8 million kroons or 2.9 percent from the end of 1999.
The main reason behind the decline was the maturity of bonds at the end of January. The volume of the outstanding debt issue was down by 292.2 million kroons during the first quarter, loans from other banks decreased by 78.3 million kroons and the government's loan funds were down by 37.7 million kroons. The group's interest-bearing liabilities decreased by 396.6 million kroons, or 13.2 percent, during the first three months of the year.
Optiva Bank's consolidated equity capital at the end of March totaled 324.7 million kroons, which makes up 9.6 percent of consolidated assets. The respective ratio at the end of 1999 was 9.1 percent.
Deposits in Optiva Bank grew by 512 million kroons or 50.3 percent year on year, totaling 1.52 billion kroons at the end of March. Liquid assets in the group's balance sheet at the end of the first quarter amounted to 800.7 million kroons, an increase of 148.2 million kroons, or 22.7 percent, during the year. The gross loan portfolio was up by 40.6 million kroons or 2.1 percent, to 1.85 billion kroons. Provisions stood at 6.6 percent of the loan portfolio.
The AS Norma group earned a consolidated profit of 48.4 million kroons ($2.85 milion) in the first quarter of 2000, which equals nearly half of the profit posted for the entire 1999. The profit of the parent company in the first quarter was 44.87 million kroons. The first-quarter profit of AS Norma group in the first quarter was up by 14.8 million kroons or 44 percent from the same three months in 1999, Chairman of the Board Peep Siimon said. The broad profit margin was achieved through reduction of operating costs and changes in the structure of output, the company said in a release on Thursday.
Consolidated net sales in the first quarter amounted to 151.6 million kroons, of which the parent company gave 126.4 million kroons.
Consolidated sales were up 21.4 percent from the first quarter of 1999.
The range of 110-250 million kroons into which analysts here put the anticipated profit of the Uhispank group in 2000 is realistic, Uhispank Vice-President Ulo Suurkask said on Tuesday. "Profit may even turn out in the upper end of that scale," Suurkask said.
Uhispank has posted a profit of nearly 37 million kroons ($2.22 million) for the first quarter of this year. Suurkask said no sudden changes were expected to take place in the bank's performance. It is also possible for the bank to earn extraordinary profit by selling some of its investments, though this would only show up as one time, non-recurring, gains.
Hansabank Markets has forecast a profit of 253 million kroons for Uhispank this year. The estimate by Suprema stands at 163 million kroons and that by Trigon Capital at 110 million kroons. The 12-month profit forecast by analysts for Hansapank Group lies between 800 million and 1.2 billion kroons. Neither bank has issued its own official profit estimate.
Latvijas Gaze (LG, Latvian Gas) company's profit after taxes was 4,919,477 lats ($8.19 million) in the first quarter of 2000, the company said in its report to the Riga Stock Exchange. During this period LG achieved a net turnover of 33,170,129 lats. As of March 31, 2000, the company's assets totaled 91,082,828 lats and own capital 83,500,934 lats.
In the first quarter of 1999 LG posted 4,091,027 lats of profit after taxes on a net turnover of 27,267,620 lats. Last year's unaudited annual profit after taxes is 7.03 million lats on a net turnover of 83.69 million lats.
LG shares are quoted on the official list of the Riga Stock Exchange. The company has a total of 39,900,000 shares, including 21,342,112 shares registered with the Latvian Central Depository. LG largest shareholders are Russia's Gazprom, Itera Latvija and a German concern comprising Ruhrgas and Preussen Elektra companies.
Ventspils Nafta (VN, Ventspils Oil) company earned a net profit of 6.4 million lats ($10.63 million) in the first quarter of 2000 on a net turnover of 13.9 million lats, the company said Friday. In the first three months of this year the oil terminal reloaded 5.5 million tons of oil and oil products.
VN net profit this year is roughly the same as in the first quarter last year while the turnover has increased by 0.9 million lats year-on-year. It can be explained by acquisition of Naftas Parks company that enabled VN to receive larger income from reloading of diesel fuel. VN council chairman Mamerts Vaivads said that the company's performance in the first quarter this year met earlier forecasts in full. "There is nothing surprising about it. We only found out once again that the modernization and tariff policy pursued by the company's management has stabilized the level of reloading in VN despite strong competition and political and economic uncertainties in Russia," Vaivads said. He said that traditionally the first months of the year were more active in the oil transit business than the second and third quarters, therefore it would be premature to make very optimistic predictions about annual results.