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Discontinued operations and assets held for sale have a negative impact of ISK 8 billion on the Q4 2019 financial results

Discontinued operations and assets held for sale will have a negative impact of ISK 8 billion after tax on Arion Bank’s fourth quarter 2019 results. The effect on the Bank’s capital ratios is insignificant and the ratios remain robust. Arion Bank reports net earnings for 2019 of approximately ISK 1 billion after taking into account the impact of discontinued operations and assets held for sale. Discontinued operations and assets held for sale refer to assets or companies which the Bank intends to sell in the medium term and are classified in the income statement below profits from continuing operations.

The negative impact on results in the quarter is chiefly attributable to two factors:

Following the decision by the board of directors of Valitor, a subsidiary of Arion Bank, on 30 December to reorganize the company in order to strengthen its core operations and to turn around its losses, the company devised a new business plan. An impairment test of the company’s intangible assets has been performed on the basis of this business plan. A substantial proportion of these intangible assets relate to Valitor’s omni-channel solutions and the aforementioned decision by the board entailed a significant reduction in investment in these solutions. 

The board of directors of Valitor approved a new business plan at its meeting earlier today. According to the impairment test it will be necessary to make an impairment of Valitor's intangible assets of ISK 4 billion. This impairment will be reflected in earnings from assets held for sale in the fourth quarter at Arion Bank and is additional to the operating loss of Valitor during the quarter and the cost of the company’s sale process during the year, a total of ISK 1.7 billion. The cost of reorganizing Valitor, a total of ISK 600 million, as reported in a release from the Bank on 30 December 2019, is included in this figure. Intangible assets at Valitor following this impairment amount to ISK 3.4 billion and belong to operations which have generated an operating profit. As this impairment concerns intangible assets, it has no effect on Arion Bank’s capital ratios. 

The organizational changes implemented by Valitor will significantly reduce the company’s investment need and operating expenses going forward and are designed to transform the company’s operating losses into positive EBITDA. Valitor is a financially robust, international payment solutions company which offers a diverse range of acquiring, payment portal and issuing services. Valitor is still in an active sale process. 

Stakksberg is a holding company for the silicon plant at Helguvík. The plant is in the process of being sold.  Owing to uncertainty on the silicon markets, several producers have scaled back production and closed their plants. Therefore there is spare production capacity in the market which is likely to have a negative impact on the sale process of the silicon plant at Helguvík. Arion Bank is therefore impairing Stakksberg’s assets which will have a negative impact on the Bank’s Q4 results of ISK 2.3 billion after tax. The impairment will have an insignificant impact on the Bank’s capital ratios.

The Bank’s financial targets for the next few years, including return on equity and capital structure, remain unchanged.

The Bank will publish its Q4 2019 and full-year 2019 financial results on 12 February 2020.

Theodór Friðbertsson, Investor Relations, IR@arionbanki.is, tel. (+354) 856 6760, and Haraldur Guðni Eiðsson, Corporate Communications, haraldur.eidsson@arionbanki.is, tel.: (+354) 856 7108.

This is information that Arion Bank hf. is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation.