The troubled Commerzbank Group was in the black in the first quarter of 2003. At Euros 172 million, operating profit was well above the result for the final quarter of 2002. The bank’s board of managing directors expressed their confidence in the newly published interim report that they can “put Commerzbank back on a successful course”.
The management board used the better-than-expected figures to provide in the first quarter for all of the restructuring expenses of Euros 104 million that are likely to be incurred in 2003 and 2004. These represent the financial burdens arising from the second cost-cutting offensive, presented at end-March, which entails a further 3,100 staff reductions, mainly at head office and selected units outside Germany.
Having already shouldered the restructuring costs, the bank faces the months ahead without a further burden. Even taking into account this extraordinary expense, it achieved a pre-tax profit of Euros 38 million, representing a substantial improvement on the loss of Euros 417 million in the previous quarter.