Piraeus Bank profits sharply up on one-off gains and loan growth

Piraeus Bank said yesterday first-half group net profit grew 201 percent, at the top end of market expectations, boosted by one-off gains and strong growth in mortgages and consumer loans. The bank reported net profits of 260.6 million euros ($328 million) versus a median forecast of 248 million in a poll of analysts. Loans exceeded 18.6 billion euros, an annual increase of 30 percent. Mortgages were up 41 percent year-on-year. Excluding a capital gain booked in the first quarter after unwinding a cross-shareholding with Dutch group ING, the bank’s net profit in the first half grew to 147.1 million euros from 86.5 million in the same period last year. (Reuters)