Pre-tax profits at Rietumu soar to €19m
Pre-tax profits at Rietumu Banka -- the Latvian bank in which businessman Dermot Desmond has a one-third stake -- soared over 270pc to €19m (13.3m Lat) last year as its impairment losses shrank.
New accounts for the business, one of the biggest banks in the Baltic country, show that interest income rose 8.5pc in 2011 to €48.8m.
The bank also generated €27.2m in commission and fee income last year compared to €24.2m in 2010. Administrative expenses at the bank climbed from €26.7m to €33m, but its impairment losses declined from €27.5m to €15.1m.
The bulk of Rietumu's profits were generated in the second half of the year. In the first half of 2011 it reported a pre-tax profit of about €4.7m.
Bailed out by the IMF and the EU nearly four years ago, the Latvian government imposed draconian measures -- including massive pay cuts for civil servants. The country has seen its economy surge since last year, when it grew 4.5pc.