Credit Agricole posts 93 pct hike in net profit

9th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 9 (AFP) - The French bank Credit Agricole posted Wednesday a 93.2 percent increase in 2004 net profit and said its integration of Credit Lyonnais was going better than planned.

PARIS, March 9 (AFP) - The French bank Credit Agricole posted Wednesday a 93.2 percent increase in 2004 net profit and said its integration of Credit Lyonnais was going better than planned.

Credit Agricole recorded a net profit of EUR 2.203 billion (USD 2.938 billion), up from EUR 1.14 billion in 2003.

The result was nonetheless below a market forecast of EUR 2.324 billion compiled by the JCF Group in Paris.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Credit Agricole made a net profit of EUR 475 million, 19.8 times the result one year earlier of EUR 24 million, the bank said in a statement.

Net banking income slipped by 1.6 percent to EUR 12.513 billion for all of 2004, however.

Costs associated with the takeover of Credit Lyonnais came to EUR 349 million, down from EUR 513 million in 2003.

The bank said the integration of Credit Lyonnais was going more quickly than expected and that this "acceleration of the integration process would result in the advanced realisation of synergies: at the end of 2004 they had attained EUR 325 million, compared with an announced target of EUR 275 million."

Credit Agricole's board is to propose a maximum EUR 400 million capital increase reserved for employees that could be launched at the end of the first half of 2005.

It will also ask shareholders to approve a 2004 dividend of EUR 0.66 per share, an increase of 20 percent from the previous year.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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