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Business news in Slovenia

NLB bank plans to double assets, revenue and profit by the end of 2030

Ljubljana, 09 May (STA) - NLB bank presented its group strategy until the end of 2030 at an investor conference on Thursday. The plan is for the balance sheet total to reach some EUR 50 billion, revenue EUR 2 billion and profit EUR 1 billion, all figures roughly double what they are now.

"The strategy is credible, as the region will grow faster than Western countries. We see the region in which NLB operates as a region of opportunity," said Blaž Brodnjak, CEO of NLB, at the second Investor Day organised by NLB. He added that the group plans to grow organically and is prepared for potential acquisition opportunities in the region.

Last year, the group's net revenue almost reached EUR 1.1 billion and net profit almost EUR 551 million. The group operates in Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. It has 2.9 million customers, almost 8,000 employees and 408 branches. The group's balance sheet total at the end of March was just over EUR 26 billion.

However, the map of the regional coverage does not include Croatia. Things are moving in the right direction here too, said Brodnjak, who believes that the group will succeed in becoming the first and only financial institution in the region to cover all the markets of the former Yugoslavia and connect the region through business.

Last year, NLB acquired SLS Holdco, the parent company of Summit Leasing Slovenia and its subsidiaries from funds managed by subsidiaries of Apollo Global Management and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. According to NLB, the acquisition gives NLB a leading position on the Slovenian market and, after obtaining all pending permits, entry into the Croatian market.

The bank aims to be a leader in South-East Europe and a group that offers not only banking services, but all financial services for individuals and businesses. It will promote a universal and digitalised banking model, and focus on local investment and prudent risk management.

It also plans to increase returns for its shareholders. Dividends would rise from the current 40% of net profit to 50-60% of net profit in line with the strategy.

As the group presented results for the first quarter, showing it generated EUR 140 million in net profit and EUR 298 million in net operating income, it upgraded its targets for this year. Revenue should rise to EUR 1.2 billion this year and the next, up from the initial forecast of EUR 1.1 billion. The group's mergers and acquisitions capacity is up to EUR 4 billion of risk-weighted assets.

On Friday, a Slovenian-Croatian investor conference will be held to further explore the opportunities and boost ties between some of the leading companies from the two markets while offering NLB an overview of investment opportunities and challenges in the region.

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