BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has agreed the acquisition of a Norwegian lessor to target the Nordic market, as the French group announced a 3.8% growth to €2.7bn (£2.4bn) in its 2017 revenues from specialist finance.
Landkreditt Finans was created 10 years ago as a subsidiary of Landkreditt Bank. It mostly provides agricultural equipment leasing to Norwegian SMEs.
The acquisition is expected to go through in the first half of the year, after relevant authorities give authorisation. If approved, it would mark BNP Paribas’s second foray in the Norwegian leasing market in recent months, after opening an Arval subsidiary in September.
Charlotte Dennery, chief executive officer of Leasing Solutions, said: “This new acquisition makes it possible to penetrate the Nordic markets and thus meet the growing demands of our customers.”
2017 growth for leasing in BNP Paribas
Operating income for the division comprising Leasing Solutions and Arval was €1bn for the year, in line with 2016.
Leasing Solutions showed growth of 5.8% in its financing outstanding. The wider division also benefitted from lower cost of risk of €89m, down 29% from the previous year.
Operating expenses rose by 8% to €1.6bn. The group partly attributed this to investment in digital services, which for Leasing Solutions include the “Kintessia” b2b marketplace and online credit application.
The specialist finance division outperformed the wider parent group. Income for all of BNP Paribas’s operating divisions was up 9% to €10bn. Cost of risk was down 10% to €2.89bn, which the group attributed to controlled loan origination, low interest rates and repositioning on better corporate clients in Italy.
Group chief executive officer, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé said: “BNP Paribas delivered a good performance in 2017, thanks to its integrated and diversified model in service of clients. There was sustained development in the business activities of the operating divisions supported by a stronger economic growth in Europe, costs are under control and the cost of risk is significantly lower.
“The start of the 2020 plan is promising with businesses strengthening their commercial positions, an acceleration of digital transformation and the Group’s commitment for a positive impact on society. I would like to thank all BNP Paribas’s employees whose hard work made this good start of the 2020 plan possible.”