Operating income reached DKK 3.3 billion for the Group in 2010, compared to DKK 2.2 billion in 2009. This 50% year-on-year rise in operating income can be attributed to larger client numbers, increased deposits and high trading activity in the first half of the year.
Total costs for the year increased by DKK 0.5 billion to DKK 2.4 billion for the Group, an increase of 24% from the previous year. Saxo Bank continued to invest in geographical expansion, product and platform developments, systems upgrades and new business. Despite these investments, profit before tax increased by more than three times to DKK 914 million.
Total assets increased during the year - from DKK 16.0 billion in 2009 to DKK 23.9 billion in 2010. The increase is due to a growth in client's cash deposits as well as acquisitions by Saxo Bank such as the acquisition of E*Trades Nordic activities and Broerup Sparekasse.
Clients' collateral deposits related to the online trading business in Saxo Bank more than doubled to DKK 31.3 billion as at 31 December 2010. Excluding Saxo-Etrade Bank, which was acquired during the year, the growth was DKK 5.6 billion, equivalent to 36%. In addition, by means of organic growth in Sirius, Capital Four and Global Evolution, Saxo Asset Management grew its assets under management from approximately DKK 19.0 billion to more than DKK 31.2 billion as at 31 December 2010.
The founders and CEOs of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, said in a joint statement:
Since autumn 2008, Saxo Bank has been implementing a transformation plan with the aim of maintaining growth while simultaneously ensuring profitability and efficiency. The external events following the financial crisis and the performance posted in 2010 prove that our initiatives are steering the Bank on the right track. We consider this year's results very satisfactory.
Saxo Bank will continue to focus on maintaining its technological advantage in the financial industry and will open more local sales offices through acquisitions or as green field start-ups with a view to improving client sales and service.
As at 31 December 2010, the solvency ratio for the Group was 15.3%.