Bank of Cyprus triples profit in Jan-Sept period

NICOSIA (Reuters) – The Bank of Cyprus more than tripled its after-tax profit for the first nine months due to a more vigorous policy of pursuing overdue loans and a better pricing policy, it said yesterday. The bank said group profit after tax reached 30.7 million Cyprus pounds (53.4 million euros) compared with 9.8 million pounds in the same nine-month period of 2003. Group core profit rose 46 percent to 104.4 million (181.4 million euros), it said. There was a significant increase in the group’s loans and advances portfolio in Greece, where core profit increased by 28 percent to 36.7 million pounds, contributing 35 percent to the group’s total core profit, the bank said. Core profit rose by 65 percent to 59.5 million pounds in Cyprus because of a rebound in banking activities and a cost-containment program. There was a 19 percent increase in core profit from the bank’s operations in the UK and Australia, coming in at 8.2 million pounds.