SNS Reaal suffered a net loss of 125 million euros (164 million U.S. dollars) in the first six months of 2014, but that was much smaller than the 1.585 billion euros loss in the first half of 2013, the nationalized Dutch bank and insurer stated on Thursday.
The group declared that the loss was caused by one-time costs. Excluding one-off items the company would have made a profit of 195 million euros.
The bank branch, SNS Bank, reported good results, with 35,000 new customers, and a half net profit excluding one-off items of 165 million euros and a net profit of 114 million euros, including a one-off charge of 51 million for the resolution levy on Dutch banks, related to the nationalization.
The insurance department, which was recently renamed from Reaal to VIVAT Insurance, underperformed.
The branch suffered from low interest rates and a decline in investment income. The first half net profit excluding one-off items was 44 million euros and including these costs it was a net loss of 225 million euros. VIVAT Insurance is for sale and SNS Reaal is in search for a buyer.
In the first half of 2013, when SNS REAAL suffered the major net loss of 1.585 billion euros, the group’s results were still badly affected by the losses of the real estate branch Property Finance.
Because of the difficulties of this department the bank was in major financial trouble and was nationalized by the Dutch State in early 2013. Property Finance was split late last year and transferred to the State.
“In the first half of 2014, we worked hard to further prepare for the separate future of the Banking and Insurance activities of SNS Reaal,” said Gerard van Olphen, CEO of SNS Reaal, in a press release.
“The Bank and Insurer increasingly operate as independent companies, although still under the umbrella of SNS Reaal, which is being transformed from an operational to a financial holding company,” said the CEO.
“We expect to take the final steps in this process in the course of 2015,” he said, adding “Furthermore, we have taken important steps in preparing for the sale of the Insurance activities.” (1 euro = 1.32 U.S. dollars)