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Investors have achieved a good return with comdirect shares, in both the short and long term – despite the ongoing euro currency crisis. In 2011 the total shareholder return comprising of share price performance and dividend amounted to 9.7%. Over the last three years, our shareholders have enjoyed an annual return of 12.2%. And anyone who added 1,000 comdirect shares to their portfolio ten years ago should have received a profit distribution of €3,690 over that time.

And these past ten years have been eventful: the collapse of the New Market, IPO slump, subprime and financial market crisis together with a deep recession – and to top it off, the sovereign debt crisis with its massive impact on the capital market and the economy. The comdirect group’s business model has proven resilient in turbulent times – above all because we have an equally strong positioning with our customers in both brokerage and banking. Consequently, in the past few years comdirect has been able to make up for temporarily weak stock exchange trading with strong deposittaking business – and conversely has benefited from higher numbers of trades when market rates are low.

Predictability and stability are core arguments for shareholders – especially for safety-oriented investors who take a long-term view. We act with the appropriate caution on their behalf when it comes to investing customer funds in the money and capital market. A prime example of our conservative and risk-aware Treasury strategy is the low proportion of our Treasury portfolio that is attributable to issuers in the stricken euro nations: over the course of 2011 this share has been reduced from around €390m to around €70m, or 0.6% of the balance sheet. And the credit and market risks within our risk-bearing capability are correspondingly moderate despite these times of turmoil.

Overall, since 2007 our earnings have been more than €270m and pre-tax profit has always exceeded €75m. Our shareholders directly participate in this success. Since 2003, the dividend distribution has largely corresponded to the earnings generated per share. Or has even outstripped them, as in 2006 when a special dividend of €1 per share was paid.

But even with the high dividend yield, comdirect is not a stock that just appeals to dividend chasers; above all, comdirect shares offer plausible potential for growth and gains. This prospect is based on performance in a number of respects. First of all, there is our performance for direct bank customers and institutional partners: powerful trading platform, easily navigable range of products, attractive terms and conditions, round the clock availability. Secondly, through these we are helping more and more traders, investors and savers achieve a good performance on their financial investments. And thirdly, by investing in customer growth – the direct banking business is still a fast growing market in which comdirect is superbly positioned – we are creating the basis for long-term added value for the benefit of our shareholders.

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