Saxo Bank Annual Report 2008

Copenhagen -  Saxo Bank announces record profits. Today, the online trading and investment specialist, Saxo Bank, announced an increase in operating income of 61 percent, and a net profit increase of 23 percent for 2008.

2008 was another record year in terms of income and profit for Copenhagen-based online specialist, Saxo Bank. Operating income ended at DKK 2,518 million (EUR 338 million), an increase of 61% year-on-year. Reaching DKK 631 million (EUR 85 million) in 2008, EBITDA grew 43% over 2007 while net profit increased 23% to DKK 339 million (EUR 45.5 million).
“We are proud to be able to present these results in a year characterised by a very challenging environment. Saxo Bank’s business model has proven its viability and we are confident that the Bank will continue its growth in the years to come”, Saxo Bank's co-CEOs and co-founders Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen said in a joint statement.
2008 was a year of significant change for Saxo Bank. After a number of years of high growth rates and a fast growing organisation, the management decided to embark on consolidation and streamlining the Bank in order to put it in a better position to be able to continue to grow in what are likely to be challenging years ahead.
“We wanted to steer the Bank into a new phase based on a more flexible structure, maintaining growth but ensuring profitability and efficiency at the same time. We had to take some hard decisions along the way but we think that time has proven that it was the right thing to do”, said Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen. In connection with the restructuring, Saxo Bank incurred a number of non-recurring costs related to redundancy payments. Furthermore, approximately DKK 100 million (EUR 13.4 million) was expensed to cover the cost of vacated premises and other associated restructuring costs. Adjusting for this, profit before tax grew by 56% over 2007 which was in line with the growth in top-line of 61%.
To support continuous growth in revenue and earnings, Saxo Bank instigated a number of initiatives in 2008 aimed at strengthening and optimising the Bank’s entire value chain, product offering and geographical footprint. Following the launch of Saxo Bank Switzerland, Saxo Bank acquired the French White Label Partner, Cambiste, which in September 2008 was launched as Saxo Banque France. Representative offices were also opened in Australia and Japan, and this month, Saxo Bank established its presence in Milan. Other new offices may be added to the list in the future.
As part of a long term strategy to establish Saxo Bank's presence in wealth management for high-net-worth and institutional clients, Saxo Bank also strengthened its Private Wealth Management (PWM) and Asset Management (AM ) segments with the acquisition of Danish stockbroker and wealth management company Sirius in January 2009.
Finally, Saxo Bank picked up five awards from key financial publications this year, including Euromoney and, for the fourth consecutive year, FX Week. These honours were echoed by Profit & Loss, who awarded Saxo Bank their Best retail platform prize for the second consecutive year.
Saxo Bank is an online trading and investment bank with no engagement in traditional lending activities. However, in response to the instability and lack of confidence in the financial markets, Saxo Bank chose to join the Danish state’s Guarantee Scheme (the Private Contingency Association). The scheme includes a state guarantee for the obligations of Danish banks until October 2010. During the two-year guarantee period, the participating banks may not pay out dividends or implement new share buy back programs.
Founded in 1992 by co-CEOs Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, Saxo Bank is renowned for its award-winning online trading platform, SaxoTrader, which is available directly through Saxo Bank or one of the Bank’s While Label partners. Saxo Bank has more than 120 White Label Partners and has thousands of clients in over 180 countries.