BCR’s Q1 net profit slumps

Austrian Erste Group’s Romanian subsidy Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) had a decline of 26.4 per cent in net profit in the first quarter of this year, according to company data released today (Fri).Net profit amounted to 58.7 million Euros, down by around 26.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2009.The reason was much higher provisional expenses due to the contracting economy’s impact on the market and BCR’s customers, the company said according to the Romanian Times newspaper.Operating result increased by 13.7 per cent up to 184.4 million Euros in the first quarter, based on revenue generation and improved cost controls.BCR CEO Dominic Bruynseels said: “Despite a nearly 14 per cent improvement in operating results in the first quarter of last year, it was not sufficient to outweigh the growth in risk costs arising from adverse economic conditions.”It is worth emphasising that risk costs are declining on a quarterly basis, which is a positive development,” he added.Total assets of the bank remained relatively stable at 15.3 billion Euros.Corporate loans amounted to 52.1 per cent of total customer loans, while retail loans, including those to micro-businesses, accounted for 47.9 per cent of them. Around 68 per cent of the total loan portfolio was secured by collateral and 32 per cent was unsecured.Customer deposits decreased by four per cent year on year to 8.3 billion Euros, and the bank maintained its number one position in the market for primary deposits.BCR opened four new branches in the first quarter this year, with their number totalling 665 outlets at the end of March 2010, 20 more than in the same period a year ago.The number of transactions in internet banking increased by 24 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 and by 32 per cent year on year to 875,000 transactions in the first quarter of this year.