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04.08.2003

Successful first six months for Bank Austria Creditanstalt's banking subsidiary in Poland

  • Net income before taxes up by 48 per cent to EUR 67 million.
  • General administrative expenses down by 16 per cent.
  • Return on equity rises to 11.9 per cent.

BPH PBK, the Polish banking subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA), significantly improved its results in the first six months of 2003. Net income before taxes in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IAS) rose by 48 per cent to EUR 67 million; the comparative figure for the first half of 2002 was EUR 46 million. Operating profit increased by 14 per cent to EUR 55 million (first half of 2002: EUR 48 million). The return on equity rose by 11.9 per cent, after 7.4 per cent in the first six months of 2002. The cost/income ratio remained stable at 67 per cent. Friedrich Kadrnoska, Deputy Chairman of BA-CA's Managing Board with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe: "I am very pleased with developments in Poland. The improvement in results shows that we are on the right way. We will consistently unlock the enormous potential available to the merged bank BPH PBK and make full use of synergies."

Net interest income declined by 27 per cent to EUR 161 million (2002: EUR 220 million). Most of this decline is due to the considerably weaker exchange rate of the Polish zloty and to the relatively weak economic situation still prevailing in Poland. Strict risk management significantly reduced the net charge for losses on loans and advances, which fell by 43 per cent to EUR 35 million (2002: EUR 62 million). Net fee and commission income increased by 5 per cent to EUR 98 million (2002: EUR 93 million). The net trading result was EUR 18 million, up by 53 per cent on the previous year (2002: EUR 12 million). General administrative expenses declined by 16 per cent to EUR 187 million (2002: EUR 222 million).

Since 2000, BPH PBK has steadily reduced the number of its employees by 25 per cent, from 15,600 to currently 11,700. The merger took place in the past year. Since then the bank has used an integrated IT platform. Overlap and duplication have been eliminated. Therefore, general administrative expenses have been substantially reduced in the current year. Merger-related synergies of about EUR 70 million will become fully effective from 2004 onwards.
 
BPH PBK is the third-largest Polish bank with total assets of EUR 10.2 billion. It operates a country-wide network comprising 534 branches. 11,700 employees serve 2.8 million customers. The bank's market share is about 10 per cent. In July 2003, the British financial magazine "Euromoney" named BPH PBK "Best Bank in Poland".

Within the HVB Group, Bank Austria Creditanstalt is responsible for the markets in Central and Eastern Europe, where the bank has pursued a strategy of targeted expansion since the 1990s. BA-CA is by far the largest banking group in Austria, its total assets amount to about EUR 150 billion. Bank Austria Creditanstalt operates the most extensive network in Central and Eastern Europe, with some 900 branches in 11 countries. Added to this are the units of CA IB and BA-CA Leasing, which are also active in almost all countries in the CEE region. Recognising the bank's commitment to the region, the US magazine "Global Finance" and the British magazine "Euromoney" recently named Bank Austria Creditanstalt "Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe".

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group Public Relations
Ildiko Füredi, tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 56102 ; e-mail: ildiko.fueredi@ba-ca.com