Raiffeisen Posts Record Profit

Raiffeisen International has posted a record profit in 2008, despite the global financial crisis. The consolidated profit rose by 16.7%
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Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, a member of the RZB Group headed by Raiffeisen Zentralbank sterreich AG, posted a record profit in 2008, despite the global financial crisis.

The consolidated profit (after tax and minorities) rose by 16.7% to EUR982 million (2007: EUR841 million). The groups profit before tax amounted to EUR1,429 million (2007: EUR1,238 million). Earnings per share increased to EUR6.39 from EUR5.80 in 2007.

“Despite a noticeably deteriorated macroeconomic environment, we once again managed to post record results in 2008, an accomplishment that underlines the sustainability of our business model,” said Raiffeisen Internationals CEO Herbert Stepic. “Although developments were generally favorable for us, in the past year we were quick to react to the cyclical downturn in the region.”

In addition to applying increasingly more stringent risk criteria, Raiffeisen sharply curtailed foreign currency lending and instituted a group-wide halt to further branch expansion and to the hiring of new employees. Staff reductions became necessary in Ukraine; the group saw itself forced to take similar personnel measures in Hungary at the start of 2009.

There will also be more staff reductions in Slovakia. “The measures aimed at raising our efficiency and expanding our capabilities that we have already implemented and those we will introduce make us confident that we are in sufficiently fit shape to kick off the year 2009 and to weather the crisis,” Stepic added.

A profit distribution for 2008 of EUR0.93 per share, as in the previous year, will be proposed by the Managing Board to the Annual General Meeting. If the shareholders accept, the total dividend payout will amount to EUR143.8 million.

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