ECONOMY

Provisions drag Eurobank profits lower by 45 percent

EFG Eurobank group net earnings came to 362 million euros in 2009, posting a yearly decline of 45 percent, the Greek lender announced yesterday. The drop in profits is mainly attributed to the increase in provisions, amounting to 1.18 billion euros or a rise of 33 percent. Nonperforming loans (those which have not been serviced for over 90 days) reached 5.2 percent, although they slowed significantly in the second half of the year. «In such a difficult environment, the Eurobank group has shown remarkable adaptability and flexibility, strengthening further its capital position and cash flow and considerably reducing its operating expenses while expanding its earnings before provisions,» commented Nikolaos Nanopoulos, the bank’s chief executive officer.