Butterfield Reports Second Quarter Profit
- Q2 2015 core earnings(1) of $27.8 million, up $1.8 million (6.9%) over Q2 2014
- Core cash return on average tangible common equity improves to 18.4%
- Core cash earnings per share of $0.05, up 25% from $0.04 in 2014
- Board declares interim dividend of $0.01 per common share
Hamilton, Bermuda─27 July 2015: The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (“Butterfield” or the “Bank”) today announced core earnings for the second quarter ended 30 June 2015 of $27.8 million, an improvement of $1.8 million compared to $26.0 million earned in the same quarter a year ago. The core cash return on average tangible common equity for the second quarter improved to 18.4% in 2015, compared to 15.0% in the second quarter of 2014. Reported net income for the second quarter was $26.4 million ($0.04 per share on a fully diluted basis) compared to $27.5 million ($0.04 per share on a fully diluted basis) in the same quarter a year ago, down $1.1 million.
Brendan McDonagh, Butterfield’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The second quarter proved to be an exceptionally successful and busy quarter for the Bank. In addition to negotiating and completing the purchase and retirement of a large part of CIBC’s shares in the Bank, we continued to both grow our business and deposit base, with our average deposits growing by $0.6 billion during the quarter. The cancellation of 80 million shares previously held by CIBC part way through the quarter, representing 14.4% of shares outstanding, is having a positive impact on both returns on equity and earnings per share, an impact we expect to see continue in future quarters, where the full reduction in outstanding shares will be reflected.
“Butterfield has continued to benefit from major acquisitions made in 2014—namely the acquisition of the trust and fiduciary services business of Legis in Guernsey, and the acquisition of select banking and credit business from HSBC Cayman—which drove increases in net income in those jurisdictions. At the Group level, we continued to see improvements in asset quality, with provisions for credit losses dropping by more than $1 million on improved recoveries and improvement in loan performance. Those factors, combined with the effects of lower core expenses, which decreased by $1.3 million on lower technology and property costs, saw core income for the quarter increase by 6.9% as compared to last year, even as interest revenues and investment yields continue to be suppressed in the low-interest rate environment.
“As result of prudent management we have seen continued improvement in non-performing loans levels from $103.5 million as at end of the year to $91.8 million. Additionally, the specific provision coverage ratio has increased from 26.2% to 27.2% reflecting a further improvement in asset quality.
(1)See page 5 for reconciliation of US GAAP results to core earnings.
“Capital ratios reduced as a result of the repurchase transaction with the Tier 1 capital ratio decreasing to 15.6% from 19.0%, and the Total capital ratio dropping to 18.5% from 22.2% at the end of the year. The Bank, however, remains well capitalised and in a highly liquid position with cash and equivalents and investments, excluding held to maturity investments, representing 53.1% of assets. The Board has also, once again, declared an interim common dividend of $0.01 per share from quarterly earnings.
“As we announced on 1 June 2015, the Bank has begun exploring the possibility of going public on an international exchange as a way to enhance its access to capital and provide additional liquidity for its shareholders. While there can be no assurance that the Bank will be successful in this effort, the Bank has engaged an internationally recognised investment bank to lead these efforts on its behalf and is continuing to actively explore this possibility.”
Financial highlights of the quarter ended 30 June 2015 (with comparisons to the second quarter of 2014):
- Reported net income of $26.4 million, down $1.1 million (4.1%) from $27.5 million
- Core earnings of $27.8 million, up $1.8 million from $26.0 million
- Core cash return on average tangible common equity of 18.4%, up from 15.0%
- Core cash return on average tangible assets held constant at 1.2%
- Core efficiency ratio of 66.7%, improved from 67.9%.
On 26 February 2015, the Board approved, with effect from 1 April 2015, the 2015 common share buy-back programme, authorising the purchase for treasury of up to eight million common shares.
In addition, the Board approved, with effect from 5 May 2015, the 2015 preference share buy-back programme, authorising the purchase and cancellation of up to 5,000 preference shares.
Under the Bank’s share buy-back programmes, the total shares acquired or purchased for cancellation during the quarter ended 30 June 2015 amounted to 0.4 million common shares to be held as treasury shares at an average cost of $1.97 per share (total cost of $0.9 million) and nil preference shares.
The Board declared quarterly dividends of $20 per share on the Bank’s 8% non-cumulative perpetual voting preference shares, to be paid on 15 September 2015 to preference shareholders of record on 1 September 2015.
The Board also declared an interim dividend of $0.01 per common share to be paid on 28 August 2015 to shareholders of record on 14 August 2015.
CIBC Share Repurchase
On 27 April 2015, the Bank announced that it had reached an agreement with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”) to repurchase for cancellation the majority of CIBC’s shareholding in Butterfield. CIBC owned 19% of Butterfield’s issued and outstanding common equity comprising 103,434,232 common shares. On 30 April 2015, Butterfield repurchased for cancellation 80,000,000 shares held by CIBC for $1.50 per share, for a total of $120 million. The remaining CIBC shareholding in Butterfield (representing 23,434,232 shares) were taken up by Carlyle Global Financial Services, L.P. at $1.50 per share and subsequently sold to other investors.
The weighted average diluted share count of 499 million during the quarter was well above quarter end share count of 477 million given that the 80 million share buyback closed partway through the second quarter of 2015.
(1)The weighted average diluted share count of 499 million during the quarter was well above quarter end share count of 477 million given that the 80 million share buyback closed partway through the second quarter of 2015.
(2)Includes both common and, for the three-month period ended 31 March 2015, contingent value convertible preferred equity. The contingent value convertible preferred equity was converted to common equity as of 31 March 2015.
Reconciliation of US GAAP Results to Core Earnings
Transactions viewed by management to be outside the normal course of business and unusual in nature are excluded from core earnings as they obscure financial analysis. The table below shows the reconciliation of net income in accordance with US GAAP to core earnings.
(1)Premium paid on preference share buy-back was not adjusted as management views the transaction as non-core.
COMMENTARY ON STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS FOR THE QUARTER ENDED 30 JUNE 2015 COMPARED WITH THE QUARTER ENDED 30 JUNE 2014
Core earnings for the quarter ended 30 June 2015 were $27.8 million, up $1.8 million from $26.0 million in 2014, an improvement of 6.9%. After including non-core items outside the course of normal business of ($1.4) million in the second quarter of 2015 and $1.5 million in 2014, total net income for the second quarter of 2015 was $26.4 million, a decrease of $1.1 million compared to second quarter of 2014 net income of $27.5 million.
The $1.8 million core earnings improvement is made up mainly of the following:
- A $0.2 million increase in net interest income driven principally by higher interest income on deposits with banks ($0.3 million), and lower interest expense on deposits ($0.4 million), offset by lower levels of interest income on loans ($0.5 million);
- A $1.1 million reduction in provisions for credit losses as a result of the improvement in non-accrual loans and improved recoveries. The improvement in the credit quality of the loan book is beginning to result in lower provisioning levels;
- A $1.3 million dollar reduction in core expenses as a result of lower property maintenance costs, lower electrical costs and lower IT outsourcing costs; and,
- An offsetting $0.5 million decrease in non-interest income as a result of reduced banking fees and lower rental income.
The net interest margin fell by 0.20% to 2.52% in the second quarter of 2015 due primarily to lower yields on the investment portfolio driven by lower yields on the US Treasury 10-year rate.
Core operating expenses decreased by $1.3 million from $65.0 million to $63.7 million in the second quarter of 2015.
Core salaries and benefits costs were $32.1 million in the quarter, up $0.1 million from an increase in post-retirement medical expense. Headcount on a full-time equivalency basis at quarter-end was 1,128, down 4 compared to 1,132.
Other notable core operating expense variances include:
- Property expenses decreased by $0.9 million due to lower electricity costs and lower property maintenance costs; and,
- Technology and communications expenses decreased by $0.6 million as a result of lower outsourcing costs.
Non-core expenses decreased by $6.0 million in the second quarter 2015 due primarily to a decrease in costs associated with a stringent compliance review programme of customer data to ensure our files meet internationally recognised standards.
BALANCE SHEET COMMENTARY AT 30 JUNE 2015 COMPARED WITH 31 DECEMBER 2014
Total assets of the Bank were $10.1 billion at 30 June 2015, up $0.2 billion from 31 December 2014. The Bank maintained a highly liquid position at 30 June 2015 with $5.3 billion of cash and cash equivalents plus short and long-term investments, excluding held-to-maturity investments, representing 53.1% of total assets, compared with 51.8% at 31 December 2014.
The loan portfolio totalled $4.0 billion at the end of the quarter, down $42.4 million from year-end 2014. The movement was due primarily to the significant prepayments on the commercial and residential mortgage portfolio. As at 30 June 2015, gross loans written totalled $331.9 million, offset by net pay downs of $382.3 million.
Allowance for credit losses at 30 June 2015 totalled $48.1 million, an increase of $0.6 million from year-end. The movement was mainly due to allowances in the UK jurisdiction.
The loan portfolio represented 39.5% of total assets at 30 June 2015 (31 December 2014: 40.8%), whilst loans as a percentage of customer deposits decreased from 46.6% at year-end 2014 to 44.3% at quarter end.
As at 30 June 2015, the Bank had gross non-accrual loans of $70.3 million, representing 1.8% of total gross loans, a minor decrease from the $71.8 million, or 1.8%, of total loans at year-end 2014. The decrease reflects the Banks maintenance and steady reduction in the level of non-accrual loans at year-end whilst working closely with clients prior to having difficulty servicing their debts. Net non-accrual loans were $51.2 million, equivalent to 1.3% of net loans, after specific provisions of $19.1 million, resulting in a specific provision coverage ratio of 27.2% compared to 26.2% at 31 December 2014.
Non-performing loans, which include gross non-accrual loans and accruing loans past due by 90 days or more, totalled $91.8 million as at 30 June 2015, down from $103.5 million at year-end 2014. This is a result of maintaining the non-performing portfolio at existing levels by continued, proactive engagement with our clients.
The investment portfolio was $3.2 billion at 30 June 2015, compared to $3.0 billion at 31 December 2014. The increased portfolio size was due to purchases of liquid US government and federal agency securities. A net decrease in non-US government and non-federal agency securities of $95.0 million was reinvested primarily in US government and federal agency securities that totalled $2.6 billion, or 79.4% of the total investment portfolio. Certificates of deposit of $37.7 million were reinvested in sovereign debt classified as short-term investments.
The investment portfolio was made up of high quality assets with 99.8% invested in A-or-better-rated securities. The investment yield increased by 6 basis points to 2.22% compared to the first quarter as short and long-term interest rates increased. Total net unrealised losses were $7.7 million, compared to an unrealised gain of $15.7 million at year-end 2014; the decrease due largely to an increase in longer-term US Treasury interest rates.
Average customer deposits increased by $0.6 billion to $8.7 billion in the second quarter of 2015 from $8.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. On a period-end basis, customer deposits increased to $9.0 billion from $8.6 billion at year-end 2014.
REVIEW OF RESULTS OF MAJOR OPERATIONS
Net income before gains and losses was $13.5 million at 30 June 2015, up $3.2 million from $10.3 million in the second quarter of 2014, due principally to a decrease in project-related professional services costs of $3.2 million. Net other losses of $0.1 million during the second quarter of 2015 were unfavourable by $9.0 million compared to net gains of $8.9 million in the second quarter of 2014, due primarily to a one-off gain from a sale in an investment in the second quarter of 2014 and increased losses on the revaluation of OREO properties. Net income after gains and losses was $13.5 million, a decrease of $5.7 million from $19.2 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Net interest income before provisions for credit losses decreased by $0.5 million to $35.6 million in the second quarter of 2015, due primarily to lower consumer loan interest income earned on reduced loan volumes.
Provision for credit losses was $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2015, down $0.8 million from the second quarter of 2014 when provisions were $2.3 million. The improvement was a result of a large commercial provision taken in the second quarter of 2014 compared to lower required provisions in the second quarter of 2015.
Non-interest income decreased $0.9 million to $14.5 million in the second quarter of 2015 due to lower rental income and electronic banking revenues.
Operating expenses decreased by $3.9 million to $35.0 million in the second quarter of 2015, due primarily to decreased project-related professional services costs, as well as decreased property management and maintenance costs.
Total assets as at 30 June 2015 were $5.0 billion, up $0.2 billion from year-end 2014. Customer deposits ended the period at $4.2 billion, up $0.3 billion from year-end 2014 as a result of seasonal fluctuations. Customer loan balances ended the period at $2.1 billion, flat from year-end 2014.
Client assets under administration for the trust and custody businesses were $34.1 billion and $29.6 billion, respectively, whilst assets under management were $2.3 billion.
Net income before gains and losses was $12.9 million, up $5.8 million from the prior year. Net income growth was due primarily to increases in interest income on loans and investments and non-interest income led by volume driven foreign exchange income, asset management and banking fees and reduced expenses led by professional services and technology and communications offset by increased amortisation of intangible assets.
Net interest income before loan loss provisions was $16.7 million in the second quarter of 2015, an improvement of $2.2 million compared to the second quarter of 2014. The increase was driven primarily by an improvement in loan income of $1.3 million as loan balances increased by $110 million from the second quarter of 2014, attributable largely to the HSBC Cayman transaction. Investment income was up $1.1 million resulting from an average increase of $270 million in fixed-rate securities and $127 million in floating-rate notes. Deposit liability costs increased by $0.1 million on $742 million growth in average deposits.
Credit provisions were a release of $0.3 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to a $0.4 million expense in the second quarter of 2014. The provision release in the current quarter was due primarily to the partial recovery on a commercial loan previously written off.
Non-interest income was $9.9 million, up $1.6 million from the second quarter of 2014. The increase was due primarily to volume driven growth in foreign exchange, asset management brokerage fees and banking fees and commissions driven by wire transfer and transaction service fees.
Operating expenses decreased $1.4 million to $14.0 million in the second quarter of 2015, driven primarily by lower professional and outsourced service costs related to the prior year acquisition and lower technology and communications costs offset by increased amortisation of intangible assets following the acquisition of loans and deposits from HSBC Cayman in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Total assets at 30 June 2015 were $3.1 billion, up $0.2 billion from year-end 2014, reflecting higher client deposit levels. Net loans of $1.1 billion were marginally below the year-end 2014 levels. The available-for-sale investments of $1.1 billion were up $0.3 billion from year-end 2014.
Client assets under administration for the trust and custody businesses were $3.7 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively, whilst assets under management were $0.8 billion at 30 June 2015.
Guernsey posted net income before gains and losses of $1.4 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $0.8 million in second quarter of 2014. The improvement year on year, is due primarily to lower non-interest expenses that have been assisted by favourable exchange rate movements offsetting lower revenues.
Net interest income before provisions for credit losses decreased by $0.2 million to $4.3 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $4.5 million last year, attributable to weakening investment yields and lower loan interest compensated by lower interest expenses and increased inter-Group interest income.
Provisions for credit losses were $nil, lower than $0.1 million which was recorded in 2014.
Non-interest income decreased $0.8 million to $6.6 million attributable to adverse exchange rate movements and lower banking revenue offset by higher custody revenues.
Operating expenses at $9.5 million were $1.6 million lower than 2014 due primarily to favourable exchange rate movements and lower staff expenses, amortization and professional fees.
Total assets of $1.5 billion as at 30 June 2015 were down slightly from $1.6 billion at year-end 2014.
Client assets under administration for the trust and custody business were $33.1 billion and $13.2 billion, respectively, whilst assets under management were $0.4 billion at 30 June 2015.
The United Kingdom recorded a net loss of $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2015, down $1.6 million from net income of $0.1 million in the second quarter of 2014. Lower interest income accounts for $1.3 million of the decrease, with the majority of this amount attributable to higher provisions for credit losses.
Net interest income before credit provisions of $2.7 million was down $1.2 million from $3.9 million in the second quarter of 2014. The decrease was due primarily to reduced loan interest income, which is a result of the $0.1 billion reduction in the loan book during 2014.
Net provisions for loan losses were $0.8 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $0.4 million in the second quarter of 2014. Additional provisions of $1.4 million were raised on two commercial loan facilities and were offset by write-backs following property sales on two other facilities and favourable exchange rate movements.
Operating expenses at $5.1 million in the second quarter of 2015 were $0.6 million lower than the second quarter of 2014 due primarily to a reduction in staff costs and property-related costs.
Total assets at $0.8 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2015 held flat from year-end 2014. Loan balances and customer deposit balances both remained flat from the year-end 2014 position at $0.4 billion and $0.6 billion, respectively.
Assets under management were $0.2 billion at 30 June 2015. Custody client assets under administration at the end of the second quarter of 2015 amounted to $1.7 billion.
Certain statements in this Release may be deemed to include “forward-looking statements” and are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors including worldwide economic conditions, success in business retention and obtaining new business and other factors.
This Release does not constitute an offer to sell securities, or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities, in any jurisdiction, including without limitation the United States of America. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. A public offering of securities in the United States, if any such offering is made, will be made by means of a prospectus that may be obtained from The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (“Butterfield”) containing detailed information about Butterfield and management, as well as financial statements.
Butterfield is specialist provider of international financial services. The Butterfield Group offers a full range of community banking services in Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands, encompassing retail and corporate banking and treasury activities. In the wealth management area, the Group provides private banking, asset management, investment advisory and personal trust services from its headquarters in Bermuda and subsidiary offices in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Butterfield also provides services to corporate and institutional clients from offices in Bermuda, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Guernsey, which include asset management and corporate trust services.
Butterfield is publicly traded in Bermuda, and its shares are listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. Butterfield’s share price is published daily in The Royal Gazette (www.theroyalgazette.com) and is also available on Bloomberg Financial Markets (symbol: NTB BH) and the Bermuda Stock Exchange website (www.bsx.com). Further details on the Butterfield Group can be obtained from our website at: www.butterfieldgroup.com.