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Hellenic Bank H1 profits up 19%

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Hellenic Bank announced a 19% increase in first half profits to €21 mln, from €17.7 mln in the same period last year, with the Group chief executive describing it as “solid performance”.

“Despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving forward with a plan to clean up our balance sheet both via organic and inorganic solutions,” said CEO Oliver Gatzke, who has only been in the job since July.

“The solid performance of the bank continued, delivering an after-tax profit of €21 mln. With a robust capital adequacy ratio of 22% and liquidity ratio of 510% we successfully continue supporting the economy to withstand the headwinds, throughout the first half of the year,” Gatzke said.

“During these challenging times, we granted €388 mln of new loans and generated net interest income of €129.7 mln and non-interest income of €53.8 mln,”

The first half balance sheet showed an 18% drop in profit from ordinary operations, from €64.1 mln in 1H2020 to €52.3 mln in 1H20211, however, this was compensated by a significant reduction in impairment losses to -€29.3 mln from -42.4 mln in the same period last year.

Gatzke said that “equally important for us is the improvement of the quality of our [loans] portfolio, through the resolving and deleveraging our NPEs (non-performing exposures) which now stand at 15.1%.”

“The vast majority (more than 95%) of the borrowers that joined the loan moratorium scheme are performing well,” he said.

Looking ahead, Gatzke said “we remain committed in transforming the bank into a customer-centric organisation by improving our customer experience through digitalisation, streamlining of our procedures and enhanced product scope.

“We want to enhance the profile of our loan book through healthy growth with a strong focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance). Other key priorities include the management of our high cost base and our excess liquidity, and the implementation of a meritocratic HR strategy,” the CEO said.