The ordinary general meeting of SIA-SSB shareholders, convened yesterday with Carlo Tresoldi as Chairman, approved the Annual Report at 31st December 2008.
The Group - made up of the parent company SIA-SSB, GBC, Kedrios, Perago, RA Computer, SiNSYS and TSP - closed the year 2008 showing stable revenues and value of production compared to the previous financial year and a strong growth
in pre-tax profits and net profit.
The 2008 financial year - the first complete year following the merger between SIA S.p.A. (Società Interbancaria per l'Automazione) and SSB S.p.A. (Società per i Servizi Bancari) in May 2007 - was characterized by the continuing integration and rationalization activities aimed at improving corporate efficiency, and by the ever greater internationalization of the company thanks to a strong business expansion drive, especially in foreign markets.
Consolidated financial results
In detail, revenues from sales and services totaled 378.6 million euros compared to 384.9 million in 2007 (-1.4%), a result of a decrease in financial market services - due to the migration of Borsa Italiana markets to the London Stock Exchange platform - partially offset by an increase in volumes from cards processing and payments systems.
As a result, the value of production was 397.1 million euros compared to 403.4 million (-1.5%) in the previous financial year.
As far as production costs are concerned, a decrease was recorded compared to 2007 - the figure falling from 368.3 million euros to 365.8 million - due to the pursuit and consolidation of integration synergies.
Financial management achieved a positive result of 1.5 million euros following a negative value of 0.2 million in 2007.
Pre-tax profits grew by 61% from 16.8 million euros in 2007 to 27.1 million at 31st December 2008.
Net profit in 2008 totaled 11.6 million euros compared to 2.3 million in 2007.
During 2008, the main financial ratios showed improvement, including R.O.E. (Return on Equity) which reached 9.59% from 5.54% in 2007, debt level, that went down from 1.77% to 1.58%, and the liquidity ratio, up from 1.53% to 1.82%.
Distribution of dividends
In the year 2008, the parent company SIA-SSB achieved net operating profits of 16.7 million euros. The shareholders' meeting resolved to distribute total dividends of 6 million euros, equal to 0.0353 euros per share.
Over the course of 2008, the company processed a total of 7.2 billion transactions, up 12.5% on 2007, made up of 4.6 billion operations on credit/debit cards and 2.6 billion between payments and collections.
The number of transactions on financial markets (offers and orders) rose from 1.4 billion in 2007 to 2.5 billion, with a counter value of deals carried out equal to 22.2 billion euros.
SIA-SSB carried 9.9 terabytes of data on the network (9.9 thousand billion bytes), guaranteeing infrastructure availability at 99.999%. The transactions managed daily at European level were around 3.3 million.
The geographical coverage of the services supplied extends to 30 Countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Payments systems recorded a 25% growth in credit transfers processed on STEP2, EBA Clearing's pan-European platform for retail payments in Euro with over 4,200 subscriber banks, giving a total of 274 million credit transfers. In addition, commercial collections grew by 13%, reaching 653 million, also following the alignment of IBAN international bank details related to the start up of SEPA.
As far as Central Bank projects are concerned, 2008 saw the completion of activities relating to the creation of RTGS systems (in collaboration with the Perago subsidiary) in Sweden and Egypt, while in Norway the production start up of the system took place in April 2009.
The total of cards managed at the end of 2008 was 61.5 million, up 14.5% on 2007, a growth due mainly to the completion of the migration of a number of important clients on the foreign market and to the increasing spread of pre-paid cards (+41%). In total, the Group manages over 1.1 million merchants in 12 countries, more than 2,000 ATMs and 181,000 POS terminals. 2008 was characterized by the clear success of the Group in central-eastern Europe
- Subsidiary SiNSYS won a long-term contract with the main cards issuer in the Austrian market, SIA-SSB also opened a representative office in Warsaw to have a direct presence in the Polish market and neighboring countries, and thanks to the Hungarian subsidiary GBC, the Group further consolidated its presence in one of the regions of strategic importance to its international expansion.
On financial markets, SIA-SSB processed over 5 billion financial market data messages serving a total of 19 Countries. Over 100 national and international operators adopted the company's compliance and surveillance
Especially significant in 2008 was the collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, permitting the renewal of long-term contracts relating to Monte Titoli's settlement activities and MTS fixed income market outsourcing. In western European markets, the TODEAL solution, a multi-market, fixed income access platform, today counts around 30 primary market dealers as clients.
Another success was the migration of the Italian MTA market to LSE's TradElect platform.
At present there are 524 nodes (of which 389 in Italy and 135 abroad) on SIAnet, the multi-service, broad band infrastructure network, which in 2008 managed 532 million messages sent.
Of particular importance, during last year, was the London Stock Exchange's Network Service Provider certification granted to SIA-SSB.
Finally, there was the start up of the GBC link in Hungary and the related extension of the SIAnet offering to east European customers. During the course of 2008, the first contracts with Hungarian customers were signed, offering connectivity services to GBC's terminal handling platforms.