Erste Group, the parent of BCR –the biggest lender in Romania by assets, posted a net profit of EUR 1.31 billion in 2017, while its rate of non-performing loans dropped to 4 percent, a level not seen since before the financial crisis.

“This development was strongly supported by the growth of the CEE economies, which outperformed that in Western Europe and should continue to do so in 2018. In addition, our liquidity and capital situation have been solid pillars for the full-year 2017 results,” said the Andreas Treichl, the CEO of Erste Group Bank.

In 2017, the group recorded a net profit of EUR 1.26 billion.

The group got a net inflow of EUR 13 billion in fresh customer deposits, while fresh lending to businesses and private households stood at over EUR 9 million. The loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 92.4 percent.

Treichl said that the group will propose an increase of 20 percent in the dividend to EUR 1.20 per share.

Last year, the group saw a slight drop it the net interest income to EUR 4.3 billion despite higher lending, while its net fee and commission income was up by 3.8 percent to EUR 1.8 billion. The net trading result fell 21.5 percent to EUR 222.8 million, while the operating income remained flat at EUR 6.6 billion.

The total group assets rose by 6 percent to EUR 220.7 billion.

For this year, the lender expects growth rates of around 3 to 5 percent in all its CEE markets. In Romania, the company expects an increase of its net interest income on the back of rising short and long-term interest rates.

The group targets a return of tangible equity of more than 10 percent in 2018.

The post Erste Group posts biggest profit in history of EUR 1.31 bln in 2017 appeared first on Business Review.