(Corrects timing of Finnish launch to H1 2017 from Q1)
OSLO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Norwegian consumer lender Komplett Bank raised its earnings guidance on Thursday amid continued strong growth and said it will consider an initial public offering (IPO) within a few years.
The bank, which is closely tied to Scandinavian e-commerce company Komplett, reported lending growth of 24 percent in the third quarter from the second, and a 132 percent year-on-year increase.
“We expect continued strong growth. This is only the beginning,” Chief Executive Raimond Pettersen said.
The bank reported a pretax profit of 53.5 million Norwegian crowns ($6.61 million) for the quarter and raised its full-year guidance to 170-180 million crowns from previously 145-160 million.
An IPO could come in the not so distant future, the CEO told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference.
“We have seen successful listings in the consumer (banking) segment both in Norway and Sweden, with Bank Norwegian , Nordax and Collector... It is natural to consider listing on the stock exchange within a few years,” Pettersen said.
No time table has been set for an IPO, but a listing could potentially take place as early as 2017, he added.
The bank’s launch in Finland, due in the first half of next year, is progressing according to plan and will not add significant extra costs. Sweden and Denmark could come next, it said.
The recent surge in consumer lending has triggered a warning from Norway’s Financial Supervisory Authority against potential future losses, but Pettersen said he saw no signs of an increase.
“Losses are, as expected, low to moderate,” he said.
Year-to-date, Komplett Bank’s shares are up 80 percent on Oslo’s over-the-counter market, valuing the company at 2.6 billion crowns. ($1 = 8.0919 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)