Deutsche Bank-earnings potential beyond $15 billion

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause said it was "realistic" for the German flagship lender to achieve a pretax profit of 11 to 12 billion euros ($15.6 billion to $17 billion) in the next two to three years.

The German bank is signaling a new level of operating strength even as many analysts doubt the existing profitability goals which forecast a pretax profit from the bank's operating units of 10 billion euros this year, excluding one-off effects.

This level of earnings "is not a one-off" Krause told reporters on the margins of a financial conference.

Cost savings from its Postbank unit and from infrastructure will help raise the profitability level of Deutsche Bank, the chief financial officer said on the sidelines of a financial conference in Frankfurt.

Deutsche Bank last month posted near record first-quarter profit and said it was confident of meeting its 2011 goal of earning pretax profit of 10 billion euros.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor)