swissfirst AG

euro adhoc: Swissfirst AG
Annual Reports
Report for the first quarter of fiscal 2006

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08.05.2006

***This media release has been already sent on 6th may 2006 at 9 o'clock in the morning***

- Total income up by 119%, to reach CHF 49.0 mn - 157.9% surge in operating profit, to CHF 33.8 mn - Net profit after minority interests increases by 129.3%, to CHF 25.1 mn - Assets under management at the end of March 2006: CHF 11,861 mn

    In a positive market environment, and including Bank am Bellevue AG along with Bellevue Asset Management AG (today merged with Swissfirst Asset Management AG), the Swissfirst Group generated CHF 49 mn in total income in the first quarter of 2006, which corresponds to a 119% increase year-on-year. Total expenses for the period under review were in the region of CHF 15.3 mn (+65.1%). After deducting the usual fixed asset depreciation, impairments/provisions and taxes, the Group's profit was up by 119%, to reach CHF 26.2 mn. With minority holdings virtually unchanged year-on-year, Group net profit distributable to Swissfirst shareholders amounts to CHF 25.1 mn, up by 129% year-on-year.

    Net interest income in decline

    Net interest income for the three months came to CHF 2.4 mn, down by 24.6% year-on-year. This decline is attributable to lower dividend income on financial investments and to interest payable on the bond issue of November 2005. Ordinary lending operations continue to reflect a stable margin.

    Higher commission income

    In the first quarter of 2006, the Swissfirst Group reported CHF 41.6 mn in net commission income, equivalent to an increase of 163%. This figure includes CHF 6 mn in performance fees from investment activity (BB Med¬tech).  Net income from investment banking was in the region of CHF 24.1 mn for the first quarter of 2006, compared with CHF 10.2 mn for the same period a year earlier. Asset management operations generated CHF 24.3 mn in net income (previous year: CHF 11.5 mn). Accordingly, asset management activities contribute roughly 50% of total net income.

    Good trading figures

    Trading operations managed to benefit from the ongoing attractive fundamentals. Net trading income improved from CHF 2.6 mn to CHF 4.8 mn.

    Higher cost base

    Total expenses in the first quarter of 2006 amounted to CHF 15.3 mn, up by 65% year-on-year. This increase corresponds to the figures budgeted. The cost-to-income ratio, at 31.2%, is down on last year's level (35.3%). The headcount at the end of March 2006 came to 158 (full-time equivalents), slightly lower than at the end of 2005 (165).

    Significantly higher shareholders' equity compared with end-2005

    At the end of the first quarter of 2006, the Swissfirst Group reported CHF 333.2 mn in shareholders' equity (excluding minority interests); (end-2005: CHF 315.5 mn). This results in an annualized return on equity of 31% (previous year: 21.6%).

    Assets under management: CHF 11,861 mn

    At the end of March 2006, customer assets under management amounted to CHF 11,861 mn. This corresponds to an increase of CHF 947 mn compared with the end of 2005. In the wake of the integration of the Bellevue units (BaB and BaM) assets of CHF 403 mn assets were reallocated from the Asset Management to the Private Banking.

    Investor calendar:

    Results for the second quarter of 2006: August 25, 2006

The full report on the first quarter of 2006 is available for download from our website www.swissfirst.ch.

    Swissfirst is an independent financial group listed on the SWX (Swiss Securities Exchange) that specializes in investment and private banking as well as in asset management. In particular, its business operations extend to include asset management and investment advisory services for private and institutional clients along with corporate finance business.

    Key data (CHF mn)

@@start.t2@@Profit and Loss                                            Q1 2005          Q1 2006          '+ / - %
                                                                  3 months         3 months         3m '05/06
                                                                      CHF mn            CHF mn 1)
Net interest income                                         3.114              2.348              -24.6%
Net fee and commission income                        15.841            41.623              162.8%
Net trading income                                          2.593              4.756                83.4%
Other income                                                    0.791              0.293                 n.m.
Total operating income                                  22.339            49.022              119.4%
Personnel expenses                                         -5.934            -9.196                55.0%
Other operating expenses                                -3.317            -6.074                83.1%
Total expenses                                                -9.251          -15.270                65.1%
Gross operating profit                                  13.088            33.752              157.9%
Depreciation of fixed/tangible assets          -0.434            -0.512                 n.m.
Amortisation intangible assets                        0.000            -1.686                 n.m.
Valuation adjustments,                                  -0.098            -0.103                 4.9%
      provisions and losses
Taxes                                                              -0.593            -5.277                 n.m.
Group profit                                                  11.962            26.174              118.8%
  Shareholders of Swissfirst AG                    10.957            25.119              129.3%
  Minorities                                                    1.006              1.055                 4.9%
Earnings per share                                            1.10                2.39              118.3%
Outstanding shares (fully diluted)         10'000'000      10'500'000
1) incl. Bellevue units (BaB, BaM)                      2)
2) Split as of the shares, May 17, 2005
n.m. = not meaningful
Balance sheet                                                  as of              as of          '+ / - %
                                                                  31.12.05          31.3.06          31.12.05
                                                                      CHF mn            CHF mn
Equity (excl. minorities)                            315.539          333.174                 5.6%
Balance sheet total                                         1'785              1'833
Assets under Management                                 10'914            11'861                 8.7%
  Private Banking                                            2'849              3'764 3)          32.1%
  Asset Management                                          4'906              4'861 3)          -0.9%
  Investment Banking                                        3'085              3'165                 2.6%
  Corporate Items                                                 74                  71                -4.1%
not comparable, see text
Staff (full-time equivalents)                         164.8                 158                -4.1%@@end@@

@@start.t3@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc 08.05.2006 06:30:00
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ots Originaltext: swissfirst AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
Mirko Sangiorgio
Tel. +41 (44) 267 72 13
mirko.sangiorgio@swissfirst.ch

Branche: Banking
ISIN:      CH0003376818
WKN:        929068
Index:    SPI
Börsen:  SWX Swiss Exchange / official market



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