Wiesbaden, 27 March 2015 – Aareal Bank Group published its Annual Report 2014 today. In addition to information on the Bank's business model and its activities in the two business segments, the Annual Report also includes audited consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRSs and the Bank's Group Management Report for 2014.
Based on audited results, consolidated operating profit was € 436 million, and therefore more than double the previous year's level (2013: € 198 million). This marked rise can be attributed to a strong operational performance, as well as a positive non-recurring effect in the amount of € 154 million from the acquisition of COREALCREDIT BANK AG (Corealcredit), a transaction that was closed on 31 March 2014. Adjusted for this effect, consolidated operating profit amounted to € 282 million, in line with the preliminary figures communicated during the annual press conference on 25 February 2015. The Bank thus ended the 2014 financial year with a record result.
Aareal Bank intends to allow its shareholders to adequately participate in consolidated profit generated during the 2014 financial year. As announced during February’s annual press conference, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will propose a 60 per cent increase in the dividend – from € 0.75 to € 1.20 per share – to the Annual General Meeting of Aareal Bank AG, which will be held on 20 May 2015. This equals a distribution ratio, adjusted for the negative goodwill from the acquisition of Corealcredit, of about 50 per cent. Aareal Bank thus adheres to its dividend policy, according to which approximately 50 per cent of consolidated profit (determined in accordance with IFRSs) after servicing hybrid capital instruments, will be distributed – to the extent that this is consistent with the Bank's long-term and sustained business development. As with the negative goodwill resulting from the acquisition of Corealcredit in 2014, the expected negative goodwill resulting from the acquisition of Westdeutsche Immobilienbank AG (“WestImmo”) would not be included in the calculation of potential dividend payments for the 2015 financial year.
“The positive business development in 2014 signifies both confirmation and motivation for us: we see it as further proof of the sustainability of our business model, as well as evidence of the operative strength we are capable of,” Dr Wolf Schumacher, Chairman of the Management Board, wrote in his letter to shareholders.
Moreover, in its Annual Report Aareal Bank affirms the outlook for 2015, as communicated during the annual press conference. Overall, the Bank sees good opportunities, including the positive non-recurring effect from the acquisition of WestImmo announced on 22 February 2015, to achieve consolidated operating profit of between € 400 million and € 430 million for the current year. This non-recurring effect is expected to be approximately € 150 million. The Bank's other forecasts for the 2015 financial year also include provisional figures for WestImmo, whereas its actual contribution essentially depends on the closing date.