ABN profit soars, but job losses to come
2 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch bank ABN Amro reported on Monday a net profit of EUR 987 million in the second quarter of 2004, a solid 26.2 percent rise compared with the EUR 782 million it earned in the same period last year.
2 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch bank ABN Amro reported on Monday a net profit of EUR 987 million in the second quarter of 2004, a solid 26.2 percent rise compared with the EUR 782 million it earned in the same period last year.
Chief executive Rijkman Groenink confirmed a forecast that net profit would rise by at least 10 percent this year compared with the 2003 figure. He also said the results were good despite the fragility of the economic recovery, news agency AFP reported.
The bank has been concentrating on its core activities of late and the sharp rise in net profit reflected this. ABN Amro has increased net profits for nine quarters in a row. Second-quarter profits were higher than analysts expected.
But operating profit fell by 1.9 percent to EUR 1.586 billion compared with EUR 1.616 billion in the second quarter of 2003. ABN Amro forecast that operating profits for the full year would be about in line with last year's figures.
But despite the positive results, Groenink said the bank aims to sharply reduce costs and cut jobs in coming years, with the intention to save annual costs by EUR 500 million come 2007, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
It is not yet certain how many jobs will be cut, but it is certain that some of the job losses will be felt in the Netherlands. The IT department will be hardest hit as ABN contracts work out or relocates to nations with lower labour costs.
ABN Amro completed a reorganisation about 12 months ago, in which 7,000 jobs were cut.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news