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

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.

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.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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