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Cetelem Group 2003 results

In a deteriorated global economic context, Cetelem consumer finance leader on the Euro zone and subsidiary of BNP Paribas, has established its solidity.

The Group's new business progressed by 8% in 2002, currently reaching €19.9B. For the first time in the history of the company, more than half of Cetelem's growth was produced by international concerns, exceeding the €10B mark.

Cetelem's contribution to BNP Paribas results are established at €427M before tax, a 12% increase in comparison with the previous year. Cetelem has therefore maintained a high level of pre-tax allocated equity profitability (30%), while controlling the level of risk and significantly reducing its cost income ratio from 55.5% to 51.8%.

Cetelem's board passed the 2003 accounts during the meeting held on March 3.

Consolidated new business - for its own account and majority-owned subsidiaries - has considerably increased (+14%).
Partnership activity has progresssed by 9% in comparison with last year, excluding the impact of the forecasted termination of partnership with Crédit Lyonnais in January 2003 (-4%, including impact).
Overall, outstanding loans under management attained €29B at the year end.

In France, where Cetelem is n°1, output progressed in a difficult environment.

Consolidated activity is up 10% due to Crédit Universel (point of sale automotive finance increased by 31%) and Facet, which gained ground over the second semester (+30% in comparison with the first semester).
France network adopted a new organisation based on four business lines (direct to customer, trade, car and amicable settlement).

New business on account of partners in trade, banking and insurance is down 19% due to the forecasted termination of partnership with Crédit Lyonnais at the end of 2002. Apart from this particular element, production increased by 9%, thanks in particular to the performance of CEFI (Caisse d'Epargne Financement), which supported consumer finance business done with Caisses d'Epargne (+24% in 2003).
A new major partnership was concluded with EDF, thus creating Domofinance.

Abroad, production is up 15%, past the €10B mark, and for the first time is higher than domestic production (51% of overall results).

This performance represents a major stage for the Cetelem Group. It asserts Cetelem's development and confirms the contribution of international concerns. This result is crowned by the company's leading position in Italy and Hungary, and N°3 ranking in Spain, Portugal and Czech Republic.

- Southern Europe continues to gain ground (+18%), each country of the zone showing significant progressions. Italy and Spain have maintained their growth while boosting their commercial tool through customer-driven organisational and IT initiatives.

- In Eastern Europe Cetelem has sustained strong growth especially in Hungary and Poland. Subsidiaries are currently all profit-making with significant levels of profitability.

50 years after its creation Cetelem remains a fast-expanding company. Cetelem employs over 10,000 people, including 60% abroad and is established in 20 countries. During the chairmanship of Marc Mangez between 1996 and 2003, the company's outstanding loans have been multiplied by 2.4.

With the new executive management team set up at the end of 2003 - François Villeroy de Galhau, chairman and chief executive officer with Bruno Salmon as chief operating officer - the ambition for 2004 is clearly to develop. Cetelem, n°1 on the Euro zone and spearhead for BNP Paribas in consumer finance, wants to reinforce its European leadership and consolidate its position in Asia and Latin America while maintaining its high level of profitability.

Cetelem, a BNP Paribas subsidiary, is European leader in consumer finance, with €29 billion outstanding loans managed at the end of 2003. Over the last 50 years Cetelem, privileged partner of trade, has supported the development of major retail chains. Cetelem is also a partner of reference for banks and insurance companies, to which it offers its know how in the fields of credit, back-office and risk. Cetelem is established in 20 countries.
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