BRD rises to top of banking league by profits

Newsroom 19/09/2007 | 16:09

Second largest lender BRD-Societe Generale beat market-leader Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) in net profits. BRD-SocGen increased its H1 net profit by 32 percent against the corresponding period of 2006, reaching EUR 130.4 million. BCR continues to remain leader by assets and loan portfolio, which has risen 14.8 percent against the end of 2006, reaching EUR 7,270 million. The bank is also leader on the debit and credit card segment, with more than 2.3 million active cards.
Credits were the major growth factor, as they went up 51 percent in the same period, said the bank.
“The excellent financial results we attained at the end of the first semester are the consequence of several winning strategic decisions like the expanding of the branch network, the launch of products that have had an impact on the market and the rigorous control of general expenses,” said president-general manager Patrick Gelin.
BCR's net profits for the first six months of the year were EUR 129 million, slightly lower than last year's, according to sources of the market. BCR is the largest local bank by assets, which were evaluated at EUR 16 billion at the end of June.
BRD-SocGen's assets amounted to almost EUR 10 billion in the same period, up 38 percent compared to the first semester of 2006.
Lower down the chart, in fourth position by assets, UniCredit Tiriac upped its net profit by 30.3 percent in the first half of 2007 as compared to the H1 2006 combined profit of merged banks UniCredit Bank and HVB-Tiriac Bank, announced the company. UniCredit Tiriac Bank registered EUR 47.9 million net profit. The bank's gross profit was EUR 58.2 million, increasing by 35.8 percent YoY.
The value of total assets was stable, amounting to EUR 3.5 billion, with a slight decrease of 4.2 percent year over year as compared to H1 2006 mainly due to RON appreciation, said the bank.
Total revenues grew by 18 percent against the corresponding period of last year reaching EUR 131.8 million. Operating income increased by 27 percent, to EUR 69.2 million.
“This is a good start for UniCredit Tiriac Bank, reflecting the achievement of our main objectives”, said Rasvan Radu, executive president of UniCredit Tiriac Bank. “Top priorities throughout 2007 will remain the strong client orientation and the enhancement of service quality, a good profitability level and creating the ground for consistent organic growth in the following period”, added Radu.
The bank has ambitious plans for organic growth. It has implemented a division-based network strategy to allow focus on each customer segment and will expand to cover the entire country and consolidate its presence in key cities, in order to serve the areas with high retail potential, said UniCredit Tiriac reps.
Next in line, local-owned Banca Transilvania has also increased its assets by 22 percent compared to the end of 2006, reaching EUR 3.1 billion. “Compared to our budget of revenues and costs for the entire year, we have accomplished 83 percent of the targeted assets level,” said the bank reps.
Similarly, lower-ranked Alpha Bank upped its assets by 40 percent against December 2006, twice as fast as the market, reaching EUR 2.95 billion. Deposits grew 19.4 percent compared to the same period, amounting to EUR 983 million, said the bank.
As regards loans, the growth was almost 70 percent, close to three times higher than the growth of the system. The total value was EUR 1.87 billion at the end of June, which corresponds to a 5.4 percent market share.
The gross profit at the end of June was EUR 13.3 million before taxes, lower than the corresponding period of last year due to the aggressive growth of the branch network.

Ana-Maria David

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