Credit Agricole 2Q Net Profit Jumps on Lower Costs, Strong Retail Banking

By Noemie Bisserbe Features Dow Jones Newswires

French lender Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) reported Thursday an unexpected jump in second-quarter net profit, boosted by lower costs and a strong retail banking business.

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The Paris-based lender, France's second-largest listed bank by assets, said net profit rose to 1.35 billion euros ($1.6 billion) from EUR1.16 billion a year earlier. That beat analysts' expectations for a profit of EUR995.5 million, according to data provider FactSet.

Revenue was, however, down 1% at EUR4.71 billion. In the year-earlier quarter, the sale of its shares in Visa Europe gave Credit Agricole a gain of EUR328 million.

The bank's second-quarter earnings highlight a pickup in the eurozone economy after years of crisis and a slow recovery.

Net profit at its retail lender LCL more than doubled to EUR186 million from EUR82 million a year ago, while its international retail-banking business posted a 5% increase in net profit to EUR81 million.

Credit Agricole's corporate and investment bank also reported a 19% increase in net profit to EUR431 million, driven mainly by its fixed income business.

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Its insurance and asset-management business reported a 12% increase in net profit to EUR466 million, while net profit for its specialized financial-services business rose 22% to EUR188 million.

Strong earnings this quarter helped increase the bank's capital buffers. Credit Agricole's core Tier One ratio, which compares top-quality capital such as equity and retained earnings with risk-weighted assets, stood at 12.4% in June, compared with 11.9% in March.

The bank's leverage ratio, which measures capital held by the bank against its total assets, was stable at 4.7% in June.

-- Write to Noemie Bisserbe at noemie.bisserbe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 03, 2017 01:14 ET (05:14 GMT)