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February 05, 2001

Commerzbank increases pay-out
Strategic realignment improves earnings prospects
Good start to 2001

The Commerzbank Group achieved a pre-tax profit of 2.28bn euros last year, which was two-thirds higher than in 1999. The net profit was 1.34bn euros, or 2.60 euros per share. As Martin Kohlhaussen, chairman of the bank's board of managing directors, reported to the supervisory board today, the profit will be used to strengthen the bank further through a record allocation of 800m euros (1999: 500m euros) to reserves. In addition to an unchanged dividend of 0.80 euros, a bonus of 0.20 euros per share is planned. In this way, shareholders will benefit from the good results and the profits from comdirect bank's share issue (IPO).

According to provisional data, net interest income (3.4bn euros) rose 6%; at the same time, provision for possible loan losses, at 649m euros, was higher than previously planned. Net commission income (2.64bn euros) increased by 20% and the trading profit (872m euros) by 47%. The result on financial investments amounted to 206m euros. Operating expenses (5.37bn euros) were up by almost a fifth. Due in particular to several expenses outside the period in question, the judicious increase in provisioning, the loss incurred at Commerzbank's Korean investment KEB and the weakness of the financial markets, an after-tax loss was registered for the final quarter (-98m euros). However, in view of last year's record result and the good start to 2001, this development should not be overrated.

The supervisory board was also presented with the details of the bank's strategic realignment. All told, the various individual measures which make up the overall project "CB 21" are expected to yield an additional pre-tax operating profit of just over 1bn euros by 2003, reaching almost 1.6bn euros by 2005.