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February 04, 2002

Commerzbank Results 2001

  • Cost-cutting offensive starts to grip
  • 40 cents/share dividend recommended
  • 283m euro in restructuring costs

The Commerzbank Group last year achieved a pre-tax profit of 37m euros, with a net profit of 92m euros. The still provisional figures also include a high one-off expense of 283m euros for restructuring costs. As Klaus-Peter Müller, chairman of the bank's board of managing directors, reported to the supervisory board on February 4, a dividend of 0.40 euros, half that of the previous year, will also be recommended.

With total assets topping 510bn euros, up more than 10 percent, net interest income increased a good two percent. At the same time, provisions for possible loan losses, in light of weaker economic performance, increased more than one-third to 935m euros. The lower net commission income (minus 16 percent) contrasts with the 20 percent higher trading profit, partially due to the first-time application of IAS 39. As a result of increased cost-cutting measures, the growth rate in operating expenses slowed from 18 percent in the first half of the year to less than seven percent for the year as a whole. In the Other operating result, the minus 179m euro includes both amortization of goodwill and a special charge for the German Industry Foundation Initiative ("Stiftungsinitiative der deutschen Wirtschaft") for paying compensation to WWII forced-labor victims.

The Board sees its dividend recommendation as an expression of confidence in 2002. For the current year the Bank, in light of its initiated restructuring measures, plans a clear improvement in its earnings.

Commerzbank Group Income Statement 2001 (unaudited) in million euros:

Net interest income before provisioning35971)3516
Provision for possible loan losses-935-685
Net commission income22772724
Trading profit1146949
Hedging profits66- -
Result on financial investments20080
Operating expenses-5852-5477
Other operating result-1791127
Profit from ordinary activities3202234
Restructuring expenses-283- -
Pre-tax profit 372234
Taxes on income110-823
Profit/loss attributable to minority interests-55-69
Net profit921342
Cost/income ratio without restructuring82.3%65.2%
Cost/income ratio with restructuring86.3% 

1) As a final audit for KEB has not yet been presented, we have not included earnings results from KEB. KEB has indicated that these will be positive.