In addition, operating income in Saxo Bank Group increased by 55 percent year-on-year from DKK 624 million to DKK 969 million. Deposits from clients increased by DKK 1.7 billion during the first half of 2008 to DKK 8.8 billion as of 30 June 2008. The value of clients' assets held with Saxo Bank increased by 11 percent to DKK 9.7 billion during the half-year.
"These numbers reflect the strength of our business model at a very difficult time for the industry. Even though many banks would be more than pleased with a 57 percent profit growth in the first half of a year like 2008, we actually wanted even better results," said Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, Saxo Bank's co-CEOs, in a joint statement. "Business development has been a little slower than expected, and we are not yet where we want to be in terms of efficiency in our execution and processes. We are taking decisive action to ensure that this continues to evolve over the coming 12 months. Our new top management appointments are a testament to our commitment to this plan".
Earlier this month, Saxo Bank's co-CEOs announced an organizational restructuring of its top management. Former heads of the Danish service company ISS, Eric Rylberg and Karsten Poulsen, were appointed Chief Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive Director in order to streamline the company and transform Saxo Bank into a truly global operation.
"The challenge for Saxo Bank today is to optimize our global operation. We will continue to improve cost efficiency and execution to stay ahead of the game. Moreover, globalization is changing the market place at a rapid pace that we intend to at least match. We are delighted to have Eric Rylberg and Karsten Poulsen on board to help us achieve our ambitious goals", the two co-CEOs said.
Saxo Bank expects that risks due to fluctuations in the financial markets will continue and remains optimistic for the future of the Bank delivering products needed to manage such risks.
âIn 2008, markets have shown quite unusual behavior, and earnings volatility has been above average. At Saxo Bank, we have so far coped well with this and our focus on streamlining the business should make us even better prepared for the longer term. Also, with our multi-product trading platform, we have been able to increase CFD, options and futures trading, which works to our benefit. Turbulent markets offer investment opportunities, but we still urge our clients to be diligent and careful when investing and also to make good use of our support functions", the two CEOâs said.