BSI SA

Banca del Gottardo: Satisfactory Operating Result

Extraordinary valuation adjustments in support of a solid financial situation

    Lugano - (ots) - The Banca del Gottardo closed out fiscal 2002 with a consolidated gross net profit of 112 million francs. At the end of the year, net fiscal income had reached 447 million francs while operating expenses were 335 million francs. The bank has implemented 200 million francs in extraordinary writedowns and provisions in the face of what remains a difficult market environment and in order to consolidate the institution's financial position for the next few years. These measures have entailed a financial loss of 160 million francs. Totalling 36,8 billion francs, assets under management fell by 14%.

    During the fiscal year under review, net income reached more than 447 million francs, down 7,5% with respect to last year. This decline was caused in particular by a 15,3% contraction in results from commission and service fee activities. Operating expenses were 335 million francs (-2,4% with respect to the previous fiscal year). Our cost containment programme launched during fiscal 2001 has brought in its first positive results and is expected to have its full impact during fiscal 2003, with a 50-million-franc reduction split evenly between personnel and other operating expenses. Given the difficult economic environment impacting financial markets negatively as well as the outflow of funds caused by Italian tax amnesty (1,9 billion francs, or a 4,5% decrease in assets under management), our gross operating profit of 112 million francs (-20%) can be considered satisfactory.

    As at 31 December 2002, consolidated shareholders' equity was 830 million francs. Shareholders' equity for the parent company amounted to 763 million francs, with an excess over the legal requirements rising from 48 to 149 million francs compared to the previous fiscal year.

    The significant extraordinary writedowns, provisions and depreciation totalling 200 million francs charged to 2002's accounts will further reduce future needs for depreciation as well as our institution's exposure to risk. In this way, operating reserves were in fact raised.

    The Banca del Gottardo plans to go ahead with its corporate strategy during the current fiscal year, expanding operations in Switzerland and in Italy through its affiliate Banca del Gottardo Italia Spa. Despite the prevalence of negative signs concerning financial market trends, the Banca del Gottardo is looking ahead with confidence, supported by the important measures that have been taken and that today are bearing fruit. For fiscal 2003, we expect a return on equity (ROE) of more than 10%. In-line results for the first two months of this year are a positive sign in this direction.

    At the Extraordinary General Meeting of 21 March 2003, Mr Bruno Pfister, Chief Financial Officer of Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life, and Dr Peter Derendinger, attorney and ex-director of Credit Suisse Private Banking, will be nominated as new members of the Board of Directors.

Banca del Gottardo, with head office in Lugano (Switzerland), relies on a well expanded national and international network. Thanks to its highly qualified teams of experts and its affiliates, subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Chiasso, Locarno, Bergamo, Milan, Athens, Luxembourg, Monaco, Vienna, Prague, Hong Kong, Nassau (Bahamas), as well as an important participation in Paris, the bank offers top level financial services to its local and international clientele.

ots Originaltext: Banca del Gottardo
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Banca del Gottardo
Franco Rogantini
Ufficio Media
Viale S. Franscini 8
6901 Lugano
Tel.      +41 91 808 33 60
Fax        +41 91 923 94 33
E-Mail: franco.rogantini@gottardo.com



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