Eurobank Group on Thursday reported a 69-pct decline in its net profits to 113 million euros last year, saying profits from operations in central and southeastern Europe totaled 32 million euros in 2010, after losses of 44 million euros in 2009.

The group said saving deposits rose by 850 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 44.4 billion euros, with the bank reporting higher savings both in “New Europe” and Greece.

Loans grew 1.8 pct, on an annual basis, to 58.5 billion euros last year, with lending to enterprises rising 2.2 pct, mortgage loans rising 11.2 and consumer loans falling by 13.4 pct as part of a strategy of portfolio restructuring.

Nikolaos Nanopoulos, the bank’s chief executive, commenting on the results, said: “In 2010 the Greek economy suffered the worst fiscal and economic crisis in its modern history and the country implemented an ambitious, long-term fiscal consolidation and structural reforms programme, which will gradually lead to a radical restructuring of the economy. Despite all these, significant challenges remain to exit the crisis, with the most significant being a return of the economy to positive growth rates”.

Eurobank Group remained profitable throughout the year both in Greece and abroad. It also boosted, organically, its capital base and its cashflow through strategic moves, such as cooperation with Reiffeisen Bank in Poland and merging with DIAS Investment Co., Nanopoulos added.