Piraeus Bank Group on Friday said its pre-tax profits totaled 10 million euros in the first quarter of 2011, while net results distributed to shareholders totaled 2.0 million euros down from 7.0 million euros in the same period last year. The Group said its January-March period results were burdened by a recalculation of taxes. Mihalis Sallas, the group’s chairman, commenting on the results said a recent share capital increase plan strengthened the group’s balance sheet and improved its capital adequacy rates. “In difficult conditions of the Greek market the road we follow is containing spending and improving revenues, along with a prudent management of risk and liquidity. The fact that pre-tax and provision profits grew 28 pct in the first quarter confirmed the rightness of our priorities,” Sallas said, adding that “efforts towards this direction will continue in the future, focusing also to supporting the Greek economy and its productive sectors”.

Stavros Lekkakos, the bank’s chief executive, said net operating revenues grew 11 pct in the first three months of the year to 383 million euros, from 345 million euros in 2010, while repeated revenues (interest and commissions) grew 5.0 and 2.0 pct, respectively, accounting for 93 pct of net operating revenues.
The cost/revenue index fell to 52 pct in March from 59 pct in the first quarter of 2010, while bad debt provisions grew 28 pct to 171 million euros.

Net interest revenues grew 5.0 pct 309 million euros, net commission revenues grew 2.0 pc to 49 million euros and retail banking commissions jumped 12 pct to 43 million euros in the January-March period.
Piraeus Bank said payroll cost fell 3.0 pct to 101 million euros, while pre-tax and provision profits jumped 28 pct to 181 million euros from 142 million euros last year.

Assets totaled 56.6 billion euros at the end of March, down 2 pct from the start of the year. Deposits fell 5 pct to 28.7 billion euros, while the loans/deposit rate rose to 129 pct from 125 pct in March 2010.