Best result in history
The year was a success and we achieved our best result in the history. We succeeded in increasing our operating income by 21.9% and our balance sheet increased during the accounting period by more than 17%, coming to almost EUR 3.5 billion. The sale of Samlink’s shares increased returns by EUR 5.3 million. The cost structure was impacted by, amongst other things, the investments in new offices and non-recurring costs for co-operation negotiations. Our profit before taxes for January–December was EUR 32.7 million, up 30.9%. Our comparative profit before taxes grew by 7.0% and was EUR 28.0 million.
Focusing on improving competitiveness
We have strengthened our position in key growth centres in Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Oulu and Turku. We moved into the new OmaSp bank building in Seinäjoki. As a result of the co-operation negotiations, which ended in December, a decision was made to merge six smaller office branches with nearby full-service branches. In addition, the operations of the Kihniö branch were transferred to Parkano's full-service branch at the beginning of the year. We continuously explore the growth drivers of business and one key viewpoint is the continuous improvement of customer service. Development of digital services continues determinedly. In spring, we developed a new version of the mobile bank based on customer feedback. During the end of the year new products were launched especially in mobile payments. The development project for the next-generation banking platform has been ongoing for just under a year. For customers, the renewal of the banking platform based on Temenos technology means new products and services at a faster pace and an improved service experience in our diverse service channels
Excellent foundation for a new decade
It is interesting to keep up with the changing financial sector operating environment, which offers our bank numerous opportunities. In our view, interest rates will remain exceptionally low in the next few years. We are well prepared for the future and our business is built so that we will be able to succeed, no matter what the interest rate level. We are waiting for structural changes to take place in the sector and we would be happy to take part in discussions on the topic. Despite a changing operating environment, OmaSp’s financial standing and foundation for 2020 are excellent. We can count on OmaSp to succeed as an efficient and straightforward operator, no matter what the circumstances, although we are slightly concerned as we monitor the development of Finland’s national economy.At the core of our strategy can be found satisfied customers and skilled personnel. Our successes have established our position as the Nordics’ fastest growing bank and we expect our profitable growth to continue also going forward. This profitable work also reflects positively on OmaSp’s market value. We foster a good customer experience, which for us means the best banking services. We would like to offer our customers, personnel, owners and partners a heartfelt thank you for 2019!
Chief Executive Officer