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Budapest Bank loans to clients drop, after-tax profit rises in 2009

Hungary's Budapest Bank group had consolidated after-tax profit of HUF 12.96 billion last year, up 5% from 2008 according to unaudited Hungarian-accounting-standard figures, the bank reported on Friday. Overall outlays to clients fell 13%. The group's pre-tax profit fell 2% to HUF 15.2 billion although the bank cut operating costs by 16%.

Total assets fell 3% to HUF 909.84 billion at the end of 2009.

The stock of assets to clients fell a sharp 13% to HUF 665.57 billion and liabilities to clients fell less, by 3% to HUF 732.78 billion.

Outlays of the Budapest Bank Business division, specialized on SME finance, fell 16%, reflecting the crisis.

The stock of retail deposits stayed unchanged at HUF 293 billion and retail loan stock fell 3% to HUF 459 billion, including an unchanged HUF 196 billion stock of mortgages.

The bank eased clients' loan service difficulties through loan restructuring, temporary suspension of principal repayments and other means.

Net interest revenue rose 9% to HUF 57.96 billion and net revenue from fees, commissions and other operations rose 24% to HUF 13.57 billion in 2009.

Budapest Bank's long-term strategy has not been affected by the crisis and it plans to focus as before to retail and SME finance.

The group's main projects, designed to support long-term growth, went undisturbed last year, and number of employees at the bank's operation centre in Békéscsaba rose to exceed 600.

Budapest Bank is 99,73% owned by GE Capital. (MTI-ECONEWS)