Adrian Alejandro Gostuski / FinanceMalta

FIMBank Group CEO Adrian Alejandro Gostuski has lauded the group’s performance for the opening six months of 2023, highlighting the “encouraging upward trend” that it displayed when compared to the corresponding period last year.

The group on Friday announced a pre-tax profit of $6 million (€5.6 million), representing an improvement from the $1.3 million (€1.2 million) pre-tax loss that it registered in the same period in 2022. During the period under review, net income before impairment and trading results surged by 65 per cent, rising from $4.9 million (€4.5 million) to $8.1 million (€7.5 million), largely driven by the improving interest rate environment and higher fee income on forfaiting assets.

FIMBank remarked that following what it dubbed as a “challenging year”, all subsidiaries have surpassed the performance from the first half of 2022. Group operating expenses rose by 13 per cent to $21 million (€19.5 million), reflecting the “consistent investment in regulatory compliance, human capital, and other strategic initiatives”. The increase in expenses is also reflective of the persistent inflationary pressures and the appreciation of the euro against the US dollar.

At the end of the reporting period, FIMBank’s equity stood at $199.1 million (€184.4 million), and both the group’s Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) and Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) stood at 19.1 per cent, higher than the 17.8 per cent recorded at the end of 2022. Total consolidated assets decreased by 4.1 per cent to $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) from 2022’s $1.7 billion (€1.6 billion). Total consolidated liabilities dropped by five per cent from $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion) to $1.4 billion (€1.3 billion).

“The first six months of 2023 showed an encouraging upward trend in our performance,” Mr Gostuski said while commenting on the results.

“We saw an increase in interest expenditure outpaced by an even larger rise in interest income, widening the interest margins, leading to a 30 per cent increase in net interest income,” he added.

He remarked that the group’s balance sheet is “more resilient” due to the successful reduction of legacy exposures and the enhancement of its sustainable revenue generating capabilities.

“The group has consistently reaped the benefits of its prudent lending, as evidenced by the absence of new non-performing exposures during the period under review. Consequently, this has enabled our management team to nurture well-performing portfolios for sustained growth and to prioritise active recovery efforts,” Mr Gostuski continued.

He stated that he expected the group’s current strategy to reap further benefits, explaining that in the coming months, FIMBank will “leverage its existing expertise and further optimise its operational efficiency and investment in technology”.

FIMBank Group Chairman John C. Grech expressed satisfaction with the results for the opening half of 2023, saying: “We are pleased to report a good performance, underscoring our commitment to strategic excellence.”

John C Grech / LinkedIn
FIMBank Group Chairman John C. Grech / LinkedIn

“Following an exhaustive strategic review, we anticipate further advancements in operational efficiencies which will allow the group to continue making inroads into greater revenue generation, while optimising on its capital and funding resources,” he added.

Dr Grech explained that even though FIMBank will “remain vigilant” of the macroenvironment and uncertain economic outlook, it sees a “significant opportunity” to use its expertise, market reach, and scale to drive better outcomes for clients and shareholders.

With roots in 1994, FIMBank Group is a provider of trade finance, factoring and forfaiting solutions, with a global presence in various financial and trading centres. Mr Gostuski was first appointed acting CEO in April 2020, before he was then confirmed as CEO in the following year. Earlier this year, the group announced that he had requested to retire from the role, with him opting to act as an Advisor instead. Mohamed Louhab, an experienced Financial Advisor and Director, will replace him as CEO.

Featured Image:

FIMBank Group CEO Adrian Alejandro Gostuski

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