Credit Agricole profit surges 89 percent

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French bank Credit Agricole posted on Thursday an 88.6 percent jump in profit for the second quarter as strength in its French retail business, corporate banking and asset management offset losses on its Greek unit.

The group reported net profit of 379 million euros (482 million dollars), up from 201 million euros in the same period of 2009 and easily beating analysts' average forecast for 264 million euros.

Profits surged in the second quarter despite persisting difficulties at its Greek unit Emporiki, which contributed a 713 million euro loss to the group's performance.

While profit surged, net banking income rose 20 percent over the period to a record 5.469 billion euros from 4.559 billion in the second quarter of 2009.

"We look to the future with confidence," said chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet, attributing the results to strength in French retail banking, corporate banking and asset management.

"These businesses held up well and helped offset Emporiki," said Chifflet, who took up his job in March.

Credit Agricole shares gained 3.84 percent in mid-morning trading to 10.28 euros while the broader French market rose 0.87 percent.

© 2010 AFP

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