BPH PBK, the Polish subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BACA) that secured commended status in the 2002 Global Custodian Survey of Agent Banks in Emerging Markets, has had a good first half.
Net income before taxes rose by 48 per cent to EUR 67 million – the comparative figure for the first half of 2002 was EUR 46 million. Operating profit increased by 14 per cent to EUR 55 million (first half of 2002: EUR 48 million). The return on equity rose by 11.9 per cent, after 7.4 per cent in the first six months of 2002. The cost/income ratio remained stable at 67 per cent.
“I am very pleased with developments in Poland,” says Friedrich Kadrnoska, Deputy Chairman of BA-CA’s Managing Board with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe. “The improvement in results shows that we are on the right way. We will consistently unlock the enormous potential available to the merged bank BPH PBK and make full use of synergies.”
Net interest income declined by 27 per cent to EUR 161 million (2002: EUR 220 million). Most of this decline was attributed by BACA to the considerably weaker exchange rate of the Polish zloty and to the relatively weak economic situation still prevailing in Poland. Strict risk management significantly reduced the net charge for losses on loans and advances, which fell by 43 per cent to EUR 35 million (2002: EUR 62 million). Net fee and commission income increased by 5 per cent to EUR 98 million (2002: EUR 93 million). The net trading result was EUR 18 million, up by 53 per cent on the previous year (2002: EUR 12 million). General administrative expenses declined by 16 per cent to EUR 187 million (2002: EUR 222 million).
Since 2000, BPH PBK has steadily reduced the number of its employees by 25 per cent, from 15,600 to 11,700 today. The merger took place in the past year. “Since then the bank has used an integrated IT platform,” explains BACA. “Overlap and duplication have been eliminated. Therefore, general administrative expenses have been substantially reduced in the current year. Merger-related synergies of about EUR 70 million will become fully effective from 2004 onwards.”
BPH PBK is the third-largest Polish bank with total assets of EUR 10.2 billion. It operates a country-wide network comprising 534 branches, with the 11,700 employees serving 2.8 million customers. The bank’s market share is about 10 per cent.