In a case of the tail wagging the dog, Hansabank Group, whose assets at the end of September made up just 14 percent of the total assets of parent Swedbank, reported net profit of 128 million euros for this year's third quarter, about 41 percent of the total profit of Swedbank. Revenues for the group for the third quarter rose 39 percent year on year to 259 million euros, and to 734 million euros for the nine month period. Loans issued by the group stood at 18.8 billion euros at the end of September, an increase of 42 percent from a year earlier. Compared with last year, the increase in loans has slowed with the trend set to continue, the bank said. Deposits climbed 20 percent to 10.1 billion euros. Return on equity was 30 percent, with "value added" increasing by 86 million euros for shareholders in the third quarter. Hansabank Group consists of Swedbank subsidiaries operating in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Making up for a late start, IT giant Dell Computers will open a representative office in Riga to oversee operations in all three Baltic states, Baltic regional sales manager Simon Hutchins said. Dell has experienced good results already in Estonia and Lithuania and wants to direct attention on the Latvian market. Bringing new products and a service focus to "simplify" the IT experience, the company will work to increase brand awareness through new marketing channels, including retail outlets. Dell is targeting small and medium-sized businesses as a solutions provider, promoting its "Vostro" family of products. Dell's Baltic market share is 6 percent, though annual sales growth is almost 35 percent. Dell biggest customers until now have been governmental agencies and large corporations.