31.01.2024 – Very strong operating result for Valiant in 2023

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

Very strong operating result for Valiant in 2023

Valiant closed 2023 with the strongest operating result since being founded. Shareholders will benefit from this with a CHF 0.50 increase in the dividend to CHF 5.50. Implementation of the strategy is on course: With all 14 new branches now opened, the lilac bank has achieved the geographic expansion targets earlier than expected for the current strategy period. The programme for improving profitability has also reached the defined target.

With an 11.4% year-on-year increase in consolidated profit to CHF 144.3 million, Valiant closed 2023 on a very successful note. In particular, the consistently strong interest operations as well as the result from trading activities, which almost doubled, contributed to the encouraging full-year profit in 2023. Operating income was up 21.7%, rising to CHF 545.8 million. At CHF 232.3 million, operating result exceeded the CHF 200 million mark for the first time. “I am pleased that we were able to achieve extremely favourable full-year profit for 2023. We are proud to be able to report the strongest operating result in Valiant’s history. On the one hand, this reflects the increased income. On the other, we generated considerable sustained savings on the cost side thanks to the programme for improving our profitability. We are pleased that we will be able to share this success with our shareholders by increasing the dividend,” says Valiant CEO Ewald Burgener.

Strong interest operations
The gross result from interest operations came to CHF 427.0 million, up 21.6% over the previous year. Net result from interest operations increased by 21.5% over the previous year, reaching CHF 407.5 million. Since the elimination of negative interest rates, Valiant has raised the interest rate on its range of savings products six times and also re-introduced interest on its payment accounts for its customers’ benefit. This resulted in an increase of CHF 176.3 million in interest expense.

Result from commission business and services
The result from commission business and services reached CHF 83.9 million, thus rising by 10.0% over the previous year. Commission income from securities trading and investment activities climbed by 2.5%. The reduction in intermediary transactions and lower card commission led to a decline of 19.4% in commission expense.

Result from trading activities and other result from ordinary activities
The result from trading activities climbed by CHF 17.7 million (+78.2%) to CHF 40.3 million. The main factor behind this increase was once again the higher income from forward foreign exchange contracts. At CHF 14.1 million (+0.2%), other result from ordinary activities was stable.

Operating expenses
Operating expenses climbed by 8.5% to CHF 290.2 million. This increase primarily resulted from higher personnel expenses and investments in expansion and digitalisation. A one-off CHF 10.0 million contribution to the staff pension fund and a total pay rise of 2.6% in 2023 helped to make the bank a more attractive employer.

Reserves for general banking risks strengthened
As a result of the very positive operating result, Valiant increased the reserves for general banking risks by CHF 50.0 million in 2023. In accordance with the accounting rules for Swiss banks, reserves for general banking risks are fully classified as a component of equity capital. Valiant is convinced that “strong” capitalisation is in the interests of both its customers and its investors. Thus, it is strengthening its equity capital and, with a capital ratio of 16.3%, is well above the regulatory requirements.

Customer loans and deposits
Loans to customers reached a volume of CHF 29.7 billion, equivalent to an increase of 3.5% over the previous year and, thus, exceeding Valiant’s growth target of 3%. This growth was underpinned by the new branches opened under the expansion strategy as well as the existing ones.

In 2023, Valiant recorded inflows of new deposits from both private and corporate customers. In total, customers entrusted Valiant with new deposits of CHF 795.7 million. In response to the changed interest rate environment, Valiant strategically reduced short-term fixed investments by professional counterparties. Overall, this resulted in a decrease of 1.5% in customer deposits.

Valiant remains committed to stability and is securing its long-term funding. Customer deposits remain the core pillar for this purpose, supplemented by Pfandbrief note loans and covered bonds.

Geographic expansion completed
With its geographic expansion from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance, Valiant is pursuing the goal of adding 14 new branches to its branch network between 2020 and 2024. With the branches opened in Schaffhausen, Altstetten and Muttenz in 2023, this goal has already been reached, meaning that the geographic expansion for this strategy period has been completed one year earlier than planned. 170 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, including 140 for customer advisory service, will be created in the course of 2024. Roughly 125 FTEs had already been created as of the end of 2023.

Programme to increase profitability
In order to reach the annual target savings of CHF 12-15 million by 2024, cost-cutting and optimisation measures are being implemented in all areas across the entire bank. As of the end of 2023, Valiant had reduced its costs by a total of CHF 11 million. The full effect of the savings of an annual amount of roughly CHF 15 million will be evident from the 2024 financial year. Accordingly, this strategic goal will also be achieved and successfully completed.

Investments in employees and sustainability
Valiant is enhancing its products and services on an ongoing basis. Given the high importance attached to sustainability and, reflecting this, its growing significance, investments in this area have also been stepped up. Almost 800 employees have received training on sustainability to maintain the customarily high standard of customer advice. They also include sustainability aspects in talks on finance or in investment advice. At the beginning of 2024, Valiant released the new Lilac Environmental Mortgage to finance energy-efficient renovations and construction.

Valiant will be offering a new apprenticeship in digitalisation from summer 2024. With the new “Federally Certified Digital Business Developer” career path, the lilac bank will be reinforcing its commitment to training for career beginners and responding to the shortage of qualified staff. More information can be found at valiant.ch/grundbildung.

Increased dividend
In view of the strong operating result, the Board of Directors will be asking the shareholders to approve an increase of CHF 0.50 in the dividend to CHF 5.50 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 22 May 2024.

Valiant expects consolidated profit to be higher in the current year.


Key balance sheet figures

 31/12/2023 in CHF millions31/12/2022 in CHF millionsChange as %
Total assets36 08035 7301,0
Loans to customers
- of which mortgage loans
29 677
28 200
28 680
27 137
Customer deposits22 22022 552-1,5
Headcount (FTEs)1003,3981,5+21.8 FTEs


Key income statement figures

 31/12/2023 in CHF thousands31/12/2022 in CHF thousandsChange as %
Gross result from interest operations426 995351 09921,6
Result from commission business and services83 87476 22510,0
Result from trading activities40 27422 60278,2
Other result from ordinary activities14 12014 0890,2
Operating income545 793448 40921,7
Operating expenses290 186267 5728,5
Operating result232 254159 35445,7
Consolidated profit144 255129 51411,4


Documents and information on the full-year results are available at: valiant.ch/results.

Images can be downloaded here: valiant.ch/downloads.

Valiant will be providing details of the new strategy period from 2025 on 13 June 2024. The main financial dates can be found at valiant.ch/financialcalendar.

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