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Eurobank Cyprus steams ahead with more profits

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Eurobank Cyprus recorded yet another year of growth with its 2021 profits rising to €52.3 mln, up €12.2 mln from the year before, reducing its non-performing loans further and mostly unaffected by the war in Ukraine.

Announcing its financial results for the past year, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Athex-listed Eurobank Group said after-tax profits were €52.3 mln from €40.1 mln in 2020 and €44.5 mln in 2019, with pre-tax earnings at €66.7 mln from €52.4 mln in 2020 and €59.0 mln in 2019.

More than €28.2 mln or 54% of the bank’s earnings were generated in the second half of last year, a period marked by recovery efforts in the tourism sector and continuing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eurobank Cyprus also had two key events last year: the acquisition of a 12.6% stake in Hellenic Bank, which it bought from one of the latter’s rescue investors, Daniel Loeb, for €42 mln; and, a €20 mln financing facility from the European Investment Bank to help small and medium-sized enterprises from the EIF and EGF funds.

Commenting on the results, CEO Michalis Louis said, “2021 marks the beginning of a particularly demanding effort, which continues into 2022, to restart the economy and return the market to pre-pandemic levels.”

‘Limited exposure’

As regards the developments in Ukraine, Louis said Eurobank Cyprus has “limited direct exposure to Russia, which minimises any direct impact.”

He added that, “the impact in the international business services sector, tourism and the real estate market, as well as the increases in the costs of energy, raw materials and food, in turn cause growing inflationary trends throughout the Cypriot economy.”

The bank said in an announcement that it maintained a strong capital position with its Capital Adequacy Ratio and CET1 ratio at 25.4% from 26.2% at the end of 2020.

The balance sheet grew significantly last year, to €8.16 bln from €6.82 bln in 2020, due mainly to a 17% increase in deposits to €6.62 bln and a 15% in loans to €2.6 bln, taking the loans-to-deposits ratio to 31.4% from 33% in 2020, excluding deposit-secured lending.

Capital and other reserves increased by €44 mln to €571 mln, while non-performing exposures were further reduced to 2.4% o the bank’s loans portfolio.

At the same time, the bank said it effectively managed its operating cost compared to earnings, with the ratio at 37%, unchanged from 2020.