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AstroBank posts after-tax profit of €30.4 million in 2023

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AstroBank on Tuesday released its financial results for the year ending December 31, 2023, reporting a profit after tax of €30.4 million, while also marking a Return on Equity (RoE) of 13.9 per cent, compared to a profit of €12.2 million and RoE of 6.2 per cent in the previous year.

Aristidis Vourakis, AstroBank’s Chief Executive Officer, said that “2023 has been a remarkable year for AstroBank”.

“The systematic efforts during the last years, towards a focused business model, streamlined operations, and reshaping and derisking of our balance sheet, together with the favourable interest rate and macroeconomic environment, have supported delivering a strong financial performance,” he stated.

“The decisive management actions underpinned the transformation of the Bank into a strong and well-capitalised banking institution, capable of delivering value to its customers and its shareholders,” he added.

Additionally, Vourakis said that “with regulatory capital of almost 24 per cent, extensive presence across Cyprus and an updated digital offering, AstroBank stands to play a pivotal role, serving Cyprus entities and individual customers”.

The AstroBank CEO also assured that the bank remains committed to its business plan, noting that “it has resulted in substantial operational efficiencies, quality customer service and improved profitability” over the past few years.

Key highlights from the report include a profit after tax before one-off costs of €39.4 million for 2023, reflecting a notable increase from €21.7 million in 2022.

The bank’s total operating income surged to €97.2 million, up by 34 per cent compared to €72.7 million in 2022, primarily driven by net interest income, which increased by 46 per cent to €74.8 million.

Moreover, Astrobank’s balance sheet remained stable, with total assets standing at €2.72 billion as of December 31, 2023.

Net loans decreased to €933 million from €1.09 billion in the previous year, reflecting significant resolutions in the non-performing portfolio.

Customer deposits saw a healthy increase, totalling €2.15 million, up by 2 per cent from the previous year.

The bank’s capital adequacy ratio improved to 23.7 per cent, up from 18 per cent in the previous year, underpinned by common equity of €234.1 million.

Additionally, the NPE ratio dropped to 14.9 per cent from 19.8 per cent in 2022, exclusively through organic resolutions.

Moreover, AstroBank’s liquidity remained robust throughout the year, with a liquidity coverage ratio of 366 per cent and a stable loan-to-deposit ratio of 43 per cent.

The bank also successfully issued €34 million in new MREL bonds in 2023, achieving an MREL ratio of 27.8 per cent.

What is more, the bank’s focus on efficiency and cost discipline was evident in the financial results, with the cost-to-income ratio decreasing to 52.3 per cent in 2023 from 68.2 per cent in 2022.

In terms of ESG and digital transformation, the bank said that it “is committed to operating in an economically and socially sustainable manner”.

It further explained that an ESG working plan has been established, resulting in “significant improvements in the bank’s governance pillar, and an expanding effort on the environmental pillar, accompanying AstroBank’s already strong social pillar commitment”.

Additionally, AstroBank reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing energy efficiency and assisting customers in their transition to environmentally friendly practices.

The bank said that it aims to achieve this by providing a wide range of eco-friendly loan products and implementing plans to reduce scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including financed emissions.

Furthermore, integrating the environmental agenda into the bank’s business model is a central aspect of its environmental strategy.

Astrobank also said that it is committed to remaining competitive and delivering high-quality, efficient services to its customers through ongoing investments in technology and automation solutions.

The statement recalled that in November 2023, AstroBank unveiled a new Internet and Mobile Banking App, aimed at enhancing the banking experience for its customers.

In addition, the bank announced plans to fully digitize its card offering, with completion expected by mid-2024.

“Those initiatives accompany a range of digitisation and integration of internal processes extending client-facing capacity,” the bank said in its statement.

“With the integrated new digital platforms and its 14 locations network, AstroBank aims to play a key role in the Cyprus banking sector,” the statement concluded.

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