Profits jump at AIB's Polish unit
Bank Zachodni WBK SA, the Polish unit of Allied Irish Banks, said fourth-quarter profit rose sixfold on lower loan-loss provisions.
Net income in the three months ended December climbed to 245.6 million zloty (€63m) from 40.8 million zloty in the same period a year earlier, the bank said in a statement.
Provisions for bad loans in the fourth quarter fell to 100.4 million zloty from 300 million zloty.
Polish lenders benefited from economic growth in the only EU country that made it through the global financial slump without contracting last year. The economy may expand 3pc in 2010, according to a government forecast.
Zachodni will increase revenue in 2010, while provisions for bad loans won’t rise, Chief Executive Officer Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview in Warsaw today.
He expects profits at the investment fund and the brokerage business to rebound this year. In 2009, income from those units and leasing business accounted for 21pc of the bank’s pretax profit, down from 31pc a year earlier.
The bank said it wants to reach a 10pc market share in Poland by 2011 and aims to increase its share in home loans to 6pc from 3.6pc over three years. The company also seeks to double consumer loans.
Zachodni climbed 3.9 zloty, or 2.2pc, to 178.3 zloty this afternoon, heading for the highest close since February 3. The country’s benchmark WIG20 Index added 1.8pc.
The bank’s results were “very good,” with operating costs “in line with expectations, while risk preserves were significantly lower,” Hanna Kedziora, an analyst at PKO Bank Polski SA in Warsaw, wrote in a note.
Zachodni plans to pay a dividend of 4 zloty a share from 2009 profit, disbursing a total of 292.3 million zloty, or 30pc of last year’s profit, it said.
Net income for 2009 rose to 886.2 million zloty from 855.4 million zloty a year earlier.