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BUCHAREST (Romania), August 1 (SeeNews) - BRD - Groupe Societe Generale [BSE:BRD], Romania's third-largest bank by assets, said on Thursday its consolidated net profit rose to 786.9 million lei ($183.5 million/166.3 million euro) in the first half of 2019 from 752.1 million lei in the comparable period of last year.
Consolidated operating income grew to 1.61 billion lei in the January-June period of 2019 from 1.50 billion lei a year earlier backed by net interest income, BRD - Groupe Societe Generale said in an unaudited interim financial statement.
Net interest income increased to 1.04 billion lei from 937.5 million lei, while net fee and commission income rose to 386.7 million lei from 379.3 million lei.
The net interest income rise was driven by an increase in BRD's consolidated loan portfolio to 29.76 billion lei at the end of June from 29.60 billion lei a year earlier. The loan portfolio growth was mainly due to a rise in working capital loans, which rose to 4.25 billion lei at end-June from 3.99 billion lei at the end of last year.
BRD's non-performing loans (NPL) ratio improved to 3.8% at the end of June from 6.3% a year earlier.
Deposits from customers grew to 45.39 billion lei at the end of June from 45.22 billion lei six months earlier.
Operating expenses rose to 803.7 million in the first half of this year, from 738.3 million lei in the comparable period of 2018.
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment costs nearly doubled to 112.2 million lei in the review period from 66.5 million lei, whereas personnel expenses rose to 403.4 million lei from 377.9 million lei.
The bank's consolidated assets edged up to 56.74 billion lei at the end of June from 55.72 billion lei at the end of 2018.
BRD was the fourth largest lender by assets in Southeast Europe at the end of 2018, and the third biggest in Romania, according to the 2019 edition of SEE Top 100 Banks ranking published by SeeNews.
As at 11:15 CET on Thursday, BRD - Groupe Societe Generale shares traded 0.88% lower at 13.54 lei on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
(1 euro = 4.7327 lei)