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Erste Bank after-tax profits more than triple in 2005

Erste Bank Hungary had after-tax profit of Ft 19.3 billion in 2005, 233% more than a year earlier, according to the bank's unconsolidated annual report, prepared with Hungarian Accounting Standards and published on Friday. Pre-tax profit increased 290% to Ft 24.2 billion. Retained earnings came to Ft 17.4 billion, compared to Ft 5.2 billion a year earlier. Total assets rose 30.2% to Ft 1,447.9 billion. CEO Péter Kisbenedek said Erste Bank expects to increase its number of branches from 163 to 200 by the end of 2006. It aims to increase its market share of all major retail segments from 8%-11% to 20% in the medium term, he said.