Erste Group announces a beaten first quarter thanks to the recovery in the main markets


(Reuters) – Austrian bank Erste Group reported better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter as the recovery in Central and Eastern European economies enabled it to reduce its risk provisions.

The profitability of the retail bank has been hit hard as the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to increase loan loss provisions, but most of the countries in which it operates have seen rates cut. infection in April.

“We have got off to a good start in 2021, which is shaping up to be a strong rebound year,” CFO Stefan Doerfler said in a statement.

Austria’s largest bank, which operates in Eastern Europe and its home market Austria, said its first quarter net profit was 335 million euros ($ 405.85 million) , above average analyst forecast of 305 million euros, based on data from Refinitiv.

The positive contributions come mainly from the release of loan provisions in Austria and Romania and the recovery of already amortized loans in Hungary and Austria, said Erste Group.

The Vienna-based group added that it had recorded significant deposit inflows and strong loan growth in all of its markets.

(1 USD = 0.8254 euros)

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdansk; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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