Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA), which published its final result for 2004 yesterday, has increased profits by 36 per cent to Euros 602 million, mainly on the back ofd surging business in central and eastern Europe.
Net income before taxes and minority interests rose by 29 per cent to Euros 836 million against Euros 648 million in 2003, and is expected to clear Euros 1 billion in 2005. This means BA-CA has exceeded its target for net income before taxes, which was raised from Euros 750 million to Euros800 million during the year.
“I am very satisfied with the results,” says Erich Hampel, CEO of BA-CA. “We are on track. For 2005 I expect another significant increase.”
Business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) made a particularly strong contribution to this significant growth in profits: the CEE business segment achieved a substantial increase in net income before taxes from Euros 151 million to Euros 362 million.
During 2004 BA-CA enlarged its CEE network by acquiring Hebros Bank in Bulgaria and Eksimbanka in Serbia. The bank now has a presence in 11 countries in CEE. The combined total assets of its operations in the region rose from Euros 23 billion to Euros 30.1 billion, an increase of 31 per cent.
At the same time, BA-CA added some 100 branches to the CEE network, bringing the total number of offices to 988. BA-CA’s customers have access via HVB Group to the markets in Russia, Ukraine and in the Baltic countries.