Société Financière Privée feels bear market and low interest rates

Operating expenses held back and income declines in first half of 2002
During the first half of 2002, the ongoing weakness of the stock markets and low interest rates drove down the result of Société Financière Privée S.A. (SFP), a Geneva-based financial services provider listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. Commissions and service fees declined by 25.4% to CHF 4.7 (6.3) million in comparison with the first half of 2001. Reflecting the depressed interbank rates, net interest income fell by 40.4% to CHF 2.8 (4.7) million. The 15% gain to CHF 0.8 (0.7) million in trading income was offset by a CHF 0.6 million book loss on SFP's own securities portfolio. Consequently, gross revenues decreased by 35% to CHF 7.6 (11.8) million.
Conversely, total operating expenses dropped by 8.9% to CHF 7.2 (7.9) million. Payroll expenses closed 6.2% lower at CHF 4.2 (4.9) million while other operating expenses decreased by 12.5% to CHF 3.0 (3.4) million. With gross income at CHF 0.5 million, as opposed to CHF 3.9 million in the year-ago period, net income reported for the first half of 2002 closed at CHF 0.64 (2.35) million. At the end of the reporting period, SFP posted CHF 69.7 million in equity. Total assets increased slightly versus the end of 2001 to CHF 159.6 (150.7) million.
SFP is specialized in asset allocation, portfolio management, equity and forex trading, and global custody. SFP's is active in prime brokerage for independent asset managers.