Setting records on its golden anniversary

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Last year, OVB celebrated its 50th anniversary – and the financial advisory group gave itself the gift of a new record-breaking result. The company’s performance in international markets was a particular factor in its success. 

In 2020, OVB generated brokerage income of €270.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 4.9%.
The financial dvisory group now has nearly 4 million customers in 15 European countries, 5.5% more than the year before. They are looked after by 5,248 full-time financial advisors.

Growth from the East

OVB generated the majority of its brokerage income in the Central and Eastern Europe segment, which took 6% more income than last year at €130.4 million. The primary drivers of this growth were the markets in Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In its home market, on the other hand, OVB suffered slight losses, with brokerage income in Germany falling short of the previous year’s figure by around €300,000 at €61.3 million. The Southern and Western Europe segment grew at a relatively stronger rate than the Central and Eastern Europe segment. Brokerage income here was 7.6% higher than in the previous year at €78.9 million. The strongest-performing markets here were Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Belgium.

EBIT performance in the two segments varied considerably. An increase of 28% to €14.2 million was reported in Central and Eastern Europe, with markets in the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovakia again achieving significant rates of growth. Despite the decline in brokerage income, operating income in Germany increased by 2.6% to €8.1 million. Exactly the opposite was seen in the Southern and Western Europe segment, where despite the significant rise in brokerage income EBIT fell by 13.5% to €4.2 million. One major reason for the decrease was increased expenditure for digitalisation. The Group’s EBIT increased by 5.7% to €14.9 million. “OVB improved its sales, earnings and operating cash flow in its anniversary year. These are strong business foundations on which to achieve the targets we set out in our strategy,” said CFO Frank Burow. “Despite the detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we successfully continued our growth trajectory and increased all our key figures – by a significant margin in some cases,” said CEO Mario Freis.

Shareholders to receive anniversary bonus

OVB believes the main reasons for the increases in what was a challenging 2020 were systematic implementation of the “OVB Evolution 2022” strategy, accelerated digitalisation and the considerable efforts of its financial brokers. For the current year, OVB is planning to continue its growth trajectory and wants to further increase its financial broker and customer numbers. It is also forecasting a slight rise in brokerage income compared with 2020, while operating income is expected to remain at the previous year’s level. The forecast is being influenced significantly by the continued coronavirus-related uncertainty. In light of the very positive business performance last year and the continued positive outlook for this year, at their meeting on 17 March the Executive Board and Supervisory Board resolved to recommend that the Annual General Meeting pay out a stable dividend of €0.75 per share plus an anniversary bonus of €0.25. (ahu)