ATEbank, Greece’s sixth-largest lender, said yesterday 2007 group net profit rose 28 percent to -241.4 million, thanks in part to strong growth in housing loans and retail credit. Net interest income at the state-controlled bank grew 2.3 percent to -614.9 million, with the net interest margin reported at 3.24 percent, compared with 3.37 percent a year earlier. The company also said it will propose a total dividend of -0.10 a share on 2007 earnings, 11 percent higher than in 2006. The bank said its return on average equity (ROE) was 17.4 percent, while return on average assets was 1.07 percent. The bank’s mortgage loan portfolio was up 26 percent to -5.1 billion, and its consumer loan portfolio grew to -764 million, the bank said. Customer deposits increased by 14.1 percent to -20.6 billion, resulting in a loans-to-deposit ratio of 86.1 percent. For 2008-10 ATEbank will seek to increase its market share in higher-margin segments, and focus on increasing contributions from its overseas participations, it said. It will also gradually disengage from non-financial/non-core activities and aim to improve its productivity through better IT systems, the lender said.