Net result of EUR 5.1 million (H1 2017: EUR 8.5 million)
Operating income of EUR 51.8 million (H1 2017: EUR 53.6 million)
Operating expenses of EUR 45.4 million (H1 2017: EUR 42.4 million)
Strategic investments accelerated to boost transformation process and cost programme well underway
Distribution of an interim dividend of EUR 0.21 (interim dividend 2017: EUR 0.33)
Strong capital ratio (31%) and liquidity coverage ratio (213%)
“We are transforming our organisation into an innovative administration bank and accordingly have accelerated investments. In the first half of 2018, our operating income amounted to EUR 51.8 million, with the operating income level in the second quarter at the same levels we saw in the first quarter. On balance, the impact of consolidation and competition in the pension and insurance segment resulted in a lower number of clients and a decrease of commission income. We have broadened the scope of our services in our international branches. In the UK, we now offer clients a full suite of pension services. In Germany our visibility continues to increase, leading to new client wins. The Pensions-Akademie initiative underlines our commitment to the German pension market. In the Netherlands, we have further developed our ESG proposition and expanded our business with family offices.
We have decided to phase out our investment in a Dutch mortgage fund to avoid volatility in results due to the implementation of IFRS9. In the first half of this year, we sold part of this investment and used the positive investment result to accelerate improvements of our core processes and innovations. These investments include the recently launched robot-overlay service, expected launch of a new client front-end, and improvement in data quality and processes. This led to an increase in operating expenses of 7% to EUR 45.4 million. At the same time, our continued focus on efficiency resulted in a significant decrease in run rates in the last two years. We have implemented several new robotics processes and will continue with continuous improvement and robotics initiatives to become more efficient, improve quality and internal control for our clients. Our business is supported by continued high capital and liquidity ratios and a transparent and robust balance sheet.
The world around us is changing rapidly. Clients’ needs are changing, and new technologies are on the rise. Regulatory developments pose both challenges and opportunities to our business. Our traditional source of income, custody, is impacted by the unbundling of the value chain and the scale effect of globalisation. On the other hand, we can benefit from the same trends by launching sourcing of investment administration as a new service.
We are running a transformation programme, aimed at improving our financial as well as our operational performance, whilst at the same time broadening our business base through investing in new sources of income. Our change program continues to strengthen our entrepreneurial culture.
Our cost programme is progressing according to plan. Excluding the accelerated strategic investments, our cost levels are coming down in line with the targeted EUR 20 million structural savings by the end of this year. We are now entering the second phase of our transformation programme in which we focus on innovations, further optimising our processes and accelerate investments. In Kas Lab, our ‘nursery’ for innovations, we use new technologies and focus on new markets to develop additional sources of income to support our growth for the future. Almost a year ahead of plann