Continued strategic progress while navigating an exceptional operating environment
Euroclear group delivers another record year
Euroclear delivered a record business and financial performance in 2022, demonstrating its resilience against a challenging backdrop.
In 2022, both equity and fixed-income valuations declined for the first time since 1969, with high levels of volatility, lower equity volumes, and lower funds market performance.
High levels of inflation led to rising interest rates across major international markets and increased expense levels.
Euroclear defined its corporate purpose as: We innovate to bring safety, efficiency, and connections to financial markets for sustainable economic growth.
Set out a long-term vision to become a digital and data-enabled financial market infrastructure: an open, shared platform providing services to all market players.
Launched a new strategy with core client focus, while further developing ESG, data and digital capabilities, as well as expanding global business.
Strategy is expected to further diversify the business model and generate value for clients, employees, shareholders, and society.
Business income (which is the income generated by fees) grew by 5% to EUR 1,607 million reflecting the resilience of the subscription-like model. Rising interest rates enhanced revenues generated through interest income, adding to the resilience of the model. Excluding earnings related to Russia sanctions, interest income rose by 289% to EUR 348 million.
Total operating income grew by 21% underlying to EUR 1,955 million.
Underlying operating expenses increased by 15% to EUR 1,133 million, reflecting inflationary pressures and increased investment to both implement the strategy and increase further business resilience.
Resulted in market-wide application of international sanctions related to Russia, and as a financial market infrastructure Euroclear complied with those sanctions.
Co-operating with clients and other involved stakeholders to address market challenges that Russian countermeasures continue to impose.
Despite a material growth in Euroclear Bank’s balance sheet and additional interest income, normal business operations have been maintained.
Euroclear remains prudent in its management of the sanctions and their implications. Russia sanction-related earnings are segregated from underlying performance and are not distributed while uncertainties persist.
Underlying EPS increased by 30% to EUR 191.7 per share, reflecting growth in net profit after adjusting for results related to the implementation of international sanctions.
Proposed dividend per share of EUR 115.5, increased by 31%, maintaining the payout ratio at 60% of the underlying earnings, in line with last year.
Euroclear delivered a record financial performance in 2022. The underlying results benefited from continued delivery on the group’s strategy and its diversified, resilient business model.
The group also reported higher interest earnings due to rising interest rates on cash balances. Cash balances increased materially as a consequence of the international sanctions on Russia.
Full year 2022 net profit increased 162% to EUR 1,201 million, of which EUR 603 million resulted from the underlying business performance.
Year-to-date operating income was up 71% year-on-year to EUR 2,769 million, of which EUR 1,955 million related to the underlying business performance.
An increase of 159% in earnings per share to EUR 381.4 per share, reflected the increase in net profit. On an underlying basis, earnings per share grew to EUR 191.7.
The group maintains a strong capital position and a low-risk profile, which are critical as a financial market infrastructure and create headroom for further growth.
In 2022 financial markets experienced negative returns from both equities and fixed income for the first time in over 50 years. Equity markets were characterised by higher levels of volatility and lower traded volumes. The funds industry was also affected by the fall in value of the underlying assets.
The fragile external context, already impacted by the pandemic over the previous two years, was further impacted by rising geopolitical tensions. Most notably, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia led to a raft of international sanctions being imposed on capital market entities and individuals.
Inflation increased across international economies, with central banks responding by raising interest rates throughout the year.
The consequence of the operating environment is shown below in the group’s key operating metrics.
In 2022, management and the Board defined Euroclear’s corporate purpose, an ambitious long-term vision and a five-year business strategy. Euroclear’s purpose to innovate to bring safety, efficiency, and connections to financial markets for sustainable economic growth, combined with its culture and values, underpins the long-term aspiration to become a digital and data-enabled financial market infrastructure.
To realise this vision, Euroclear will continue to build an open, shared platform providing a catalogue of services to all market stakeholders and complemented by third parties. Euroclear’s aim is to evolve the current market model to provide efficiencies that deliver more client value, building on previous successes in collateral and funds.
Through its strategy, the group will continue to focus on meeting the evolving needs of all financial market participants from issuers to investors. In addition, Euroclear will increase its focus on ESG, data-driven and digital innovations and expanding its global reach.
The strategy will be enabled by Euroclear’s people and its technology, with increased investments ongoing to extend the group’s capabilities, with a particular focus on strengthening and modernising the group’s technology.
In addition, greater emphasis is placed on M&A to accelerate the strategy and to provide enhanced capabilities to the group’s service offering. Several steps have been taken through the course of 2022 to rollout the M&A strategy, including the investments in Greenomy, Impact Cubed, Fnality and Goji as well as the ongoing integration of MFEX. The Goji acquisition is novel, as it is the first time Euroclear will be operating in the digitalisation of private assets space, in effect a new asset class in its books.
The integration of MFEX remains on track despite the challenging external context for the funds industry given lower equity, fixed-income and fund valuations. The combination of MFEX with the existing Euroclear funds business, and alternative investments through Goji, provides a compelling vision for a comprehensive end-to-end funds offering.
Ambitious metrics have been outlined to measure the implementation of the strategy over the next five years. The strategy is expected to further diversify the business model and generate value for clients, employees, shareholders, and society, in line with Euroclear’s corporate purpose.
Excluding the impact of the Russian sanctions, Euroclear’s underlying business continues to perform strongly. Adjusted net profit rose by 32% to EUR 603 million.
Business income was up 5% to EUR 1,607 million, reflecting continued growth of Euroclear’s business lines.
The diversification of our business provided a hedge against market volatility. The impact of lower equity markets is mitigated by the group’s diversified and subscription-like business model. Approximately three quarters of the group’s business income is decoupled from financial market valuations.
In addition, interest, banking and other income increased by 289% to EUR 348 million on an underlying basis, benefitting from rising interest rates.
Underlying operating expenses increased to EUR 1,133 million, up 15% compared to the prior year, partly due to inflation on costs but also as Euroclear continued to invest in its technology and service offering. As well as enhancing Euroclear’s client proposition and resilience, the investments in Euroclear’s technology are expected to increase efficiency through standardisation and modernisation.
Inflationary pressures on costs, as well as the broader impact of the macro-economic environment, are monitored at the level of each of operating entity. Only Euroclear Bank benefits directly from the compensating effect of higher interest rates.
Euroclear continues to expect expenditure to remain above its 'through-the-cycle' target of 4-6% p.a. in 2023, due to accelerating investment in both its strategy and the resilience of the business, coupled with continued inflationary pressures on the cost base. However, profitability is expected to rise as inflation headwinds are more than offset by higher net interest income from subsequent rate increases.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in market-wide application of international sanctions, which had a material impact on Euroclear’s financial market infrastructure.
As a regulated entity with a critical role in the operation of global financial markets, Euroclear takes its responsibility of complying with sanctions very seriously. Well established processes are in place which have allowed the group to implement the sanctions while maintaining the normal course of business.
There is, however, additional complexity because the package of sanctions is wide-ranging and, moreover, Russia does not recognise the international sanctions and has implemented its own economic countermeasures. Euroclear maintains regular dialogue with clients and other impacted stakeholders in managing the market issues and implication of Russian countermeasures.
The international sanctions and Russian countermeasures resulted in a loss of activities from sanctioned clients and Russian securities which impacted business income. It is more than offset by increased interest income.
The cash on the balance sheet has increased as blocked coupon payments and redemptions accumulate. At the end of December 2022, Euroclear Bank’s balance sheet increased by EUR 99 billion year-on-year to a total of EUR 124 billion.
As per Euroclear’s standard process, which is the same for any client’s long cash balances, the cash balances arising from the sanctions are invested to minimise credit risk. Over 2022, interest arising on cash balances from Russia-sanctioned assets was EUR 821 million.
Future earnings linked to the sanctions will continue to depend on the prevailing interest rate environment and the evolution of the sanctions. The Board expects interest income to continue to grow as blocked payments and redemptions continue to accumulate, albeit at a slower pace during 2023.
As previously outlined, while the Russian sanctions materially impact the balance sheet, the impact on the group’s capital ratios is not expected to be significant. Euroclear maintains a strong capital position.
The nature of the activities undertaken as a financial market infrastructure has led various parties to contest the sanctions and countermeasures, as well as their application, with legal proceedings ongoing in both the European Union and Russia. While not presently considered a material risk and having limited financial impact, the probability has increased that financial impacts arise, which may result in a possible post balance sheet event. As such, the Board considers it necessary to separate the sanction-related earnings from the underlying financial results when assessing the company’s performance and resources.
The Board recognises that the unexpected profit should be managed prudently, in line with its corporate purpose and considering its responsibilities towards stakeholders and society, as well as a more uncertain risk environment. Euroclear continues to act in a transparent manner with all authorities involved. The Board will continue to act cautiously by not distributing any profits related to the Russian sanctions until the situation becomes clearer.
The newly articulated corporate purpose and strategy recognises Euroclear’s responsibilities to its communities and society. Management and the Board would like to thank colleagues for the way in which they responded to the challenges of the past year, while also adapting to a new hybrid way of working.
Having established a group sustainability office in 2021, this year Euroclear set out a pathway to reach its net zero science-based targets. This includes setting near term 2030 goals to cut absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 55%, from a 2019 base year.
The Board considers the core of the group’s performance to be the underlying business performance and shareholder returns are assessed on this basis.
Underlying EPS increased by 30% to 191.7 per share, reflecting growth in net profit after adjusting for results related to the implementation of international sanctions.
The Board signals its intention to pay dividend per share to EUR 115.5 in the third quarter. This represents an increase of 31% and maintains the payout ratio at 60% of the underlying earnings, in line with last year.
Lieve Mostrey, Chief Executive Officer, Euroclear
“Throughout 2022, Euroclear has continued to innovate to bring safety, efficiency and connections to the financial markets for sustainable economic growth.
I would like to extend my gratitude to our people, together with our clients and partners, for their continued efforts in navigating the extraordinary circumstances that we faced last year. Our business has once again demonstrated its robust model, internal structures and processes, and agility when facing new challenges.
Looking forward, I am encouraged by the progress already made in implementing our new business strategy, which gives us confidence as we strive towards our long-term aim to become a digital and data-enabled financial market infrastructure.”
Euroclear group is the financial industry’s trusted provider of post trade services. Guided by its purpose, Euroclear innovates to bring safety, efficiency and connections to financial markets for sustainable economic growth. Euroclear provides settlement and custody of domestic and cross-border securities for bonds, equities and derivatives, and investment funds. As a proven, resilient capital market infrastructure, Euroclear is committed to delivering risk-mitigation, automation and efficiency at scale for its global client franchise. The Euroclear group comprises Euroclear Bank, the International CSD, as well as Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear Finland, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear Sweden, Euroclear UK & International and MFEXbyEuroclear.
"I would like to extend my gratitude to our people, together with our clients and partners, for their continued efforts in navigating the extraordinary circumstances that we faced last year. Our business has once again demonstrated its robust model, internal structures and processes, and agility when facing new challenges."
Lieve Mostrey, Chief Executive Officer, Euroclear
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