- Competitive stock exchange infrastructure proved stable in volatile markets
- Earnings 2020: Revenues EUR 75 million (+12.4%), profit before tax EUR 41.3 million (+ 20.8%)
- 250 years of experience makes Wiener Börse AG one of the most efficient market operators in Europe
- Austrian stock market hits all-time high (ATX TR reaches 6,892.72 points on 28 May 2021)
(Vienna) Looking back at the year 2020, Wiener Börse AG is pleased to report that the strategic initiatives and successful diversification activities of the past years are bearing fruit. The exchange operating company has posted growth in all business areas. In the preceding financial year, higher trading volumes and record bond listings contributed the most to earnings. Income from market data and indices, as well as from the central securities depository in Prague also helped raise profits by 20.8% to EUR 41.3 million. After stocks plunged at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, markets recovered again in 2021. Including dividends, the Austrian leading index climbed to an all-time high of 6,892.72 points on 28 May 2021 (ATX Total Return).
"Corona gave the market a good shake in 2020. The increased trading activity compared with off-exchange trading shows the high level of trust that customers place in the exchange infrastructure in challenging times. However, falling prices put pressure on volumes in the market. Without the strategic initiatives of recent years – such as the new market segments, the connection of additional liquidity providers, holiday trading, and then general focus on internationalization – revenue growth would be much weaker. Focusing on the best market quality in the order book also pays off," explained Christoph Boschan, CEO of Wiener Börse AG.
"The Austrian capital market infrastructure is extremely competitive. With a history going back 250 years, the stock exchange has created a regulated and transparent marketplace. The national capital market can make essential contributions to overcoming the coronavirus crisis. The Austrian government programme has set the right course. Some progress has already been made in financial education. A next important step will be the rapid reinstatement of the retention period, a tax relief for long-term share ownership," said Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger, Vice Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Wiener Börse AG and member of the Management Board of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG.
Results & Review 2020: Growth across all business areas
Wiener Börse AG's consolidated revenues increased by 12.4% to EUR 75 million in 2020 (2019: EUR 66.8 million). A main driver of higher revenues was the livelier activity of trading participants during the coronavirus pandemic. Trading volumes totaled EUR 69 billion on the Vienna market in 2020 (2019: EUR 62 billion, +11%); and EUR 10.2 billion in Prague (2019: EUR 9.5 billion, +11%). Strong contributions to earnings came from the bond listings, market data & indices vending, and the central securities depository business. Sales of IT services remained at a similarly high level as in the previous year. Profit before tax (PBT) in 2020 amounted to EUR 41.29 million. This is an increase of 20.8% compared to the preceding year (EUR 34.19 million). As of December 31, 2020, Wiener Börse AG's equity was EUR 150 million, and net profit amounted to EUR 28.1 million. As of the end of December 2020, Wiener Börse AG had 162 employees (in full-time equivalents).
We expect to continue our expansion course in the year 2021. Since the beginning of the year and up to and including May 2021, equity trading volume has remained at the high level of EUR 32.8 billion (+ 2.3%, Jan-May 2020 EUR 32.03 billion). The Vienna Stock Exchange also broke a new record in international bond listings in 2021 (Jan-May 2021: 2,724 new listings, + 292%).
"The expansion of our strong international network and our high standards are the guiding principles of our strategy. This is how we ensure that the Central European capital market will continue to be perfectly interconnected with the global financial centers. Not only are we a company with a long and rich history, we are also one of the most efficient market operators in Europe. At this point, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to all our employees who work hard to make this happen every day," said Boschan.
Interest in the stock market is growing in Austria
Unlike in previous crises, many Austrians turned to the stock market last year, as shown by the statistics published by Oesterreichische Nationalbank. Austrian private individuals invested more in equities in 2020 than in the previous 20 years (growth of Austrian household financial assets in equities: EUR 2.4 billion; in investment funds: EUR 4 billion). Still, at EUR 310 billion held on non-interest-bearing savings accounts, there is untapped potential for investment. The rapid implementation of the proposals for the capital market of the current government (tax relief for longer retention) could activate more private capital to the benefit of the economy.
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About the Vienna Stock Exchange
As the main provider of market infrastructure in the region, Wiener Börse AG is the gate to global markets. Operating the stock exchanges in Vienna and Prague, the group offers state-of-the-art systems, information and IT services. Listed companies receive maximum liquidity and investors benefit from fast and cost-effective trading by the market leader. Wiener Börse AG also collects and distributes stock market data and calculates the most important indices of the region. Because of this unique know-how the national stock exchanges in Budapest, Ljubljana and Zagreb trust its IT services. Additionally, the group holds stakes in energy exchanges and clearing houses.
Exclusion of Liability
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and forecasts that are based on assumptions current made at the time of publication of this press release. We do not assume any liability for these forward-looking statements materializing. Furthermore, we would like to explicitly point out that this press release cannot serve as a basis for investment decisions and may not be construed as a solicitation to buy or a recommendation to invest by Wiener Börse AG. No liability is assumed for the information given in this press release.