OTP Bank Profit Rises on Eastern Europe Acquisitions

OTP Bank Profit Rises on Eastern Europe Acquisitions

OTP Bank Nyrt., the Hungarian lender that bought five banks in eastern Europe last year, said second-quarter profit rose 8.4 percent as some of the acquisitions boosted earnings, reported Bloomberg.

Net income advanced to 50.7 billion forint ($273 million), or 182 forint a share, from 46.7 billion forint, or 180 forint, a year earlier, the Budapest-based bank said in a statement on its Web site today. The result compares with the 50.5 billion- forint median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

``The significance of foreign subsidiaries grew further within the banking group,'' the bank said in the statement.

OTP, a monopoly during the communist era, has spent more than $3 billion in the past six years buying banks from Bulgaria to Russia to reduce its dependence on Hungary, where government spending cuts are crimping consumer demand. The bank plans to start a ``new wave'' of acquisitions from 2008, Chief Executive Officer Sandor Csanyi said in May.

OTP, eastern Europe's largest bank by assets, said Feb. 19 it expects foreign subsidiaries to contribute 24 percent of profit this year, compared with 13 percent in 2006. On the same day, the company forecast annual profit of 212 billion forint, up 17 percent from last year.

Net interest income, the difference between money paid out on deposits and earnings on loans, rose 33.5 percent to 97.6 billion forint, the company said. Net fees and commissions rose to 35.3 billion forint from 27.7 billion forint a year earlier.

Slovakian Bank

Shares in OTP have risen 13.3 percent this year, compared with a 12.2 percent gain in Hungary's benchmark BUX Index, valuing the bank at $15 billion.

OTP's Bulgarian unit, DSK group, reported net income of 7 billion forint, a 38 percent jump on the year before. DSK, acquired in 2003, has 14.3 percent market share by assets, and had net interest income of 10.4 billion forint.

Slovakian bank OTP Bank Slovensko had quarterly profit of 211 million forint, a 14 percent slide from last year as non- interest income plummeted 44 percent, the statement said.

This is the first time second-quarter earnings have included OTP's acquisitions in Russia and Ukraine, both of which were acquired last year. OTP said it would concentrate this year on opening new retail branches in both countries.

Ukraine's CJSC unit, for which OTP paid 650 million euros ($885 million), contributed profit of 3.3 billion forint with net interest income of 7.2 billion forint. Profit fell 16 percent from the first quarter as operating expenses rose 24 percent.

Russia's Investsberbank added 892 million forint to profit, a 56 percent decline on the first quarter as net interest income declined by 13 percent.

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