Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT), Greece's third largest lender, said on Tuesday 2008 group net profit fell 33.5 percent to 512.1 million euros ($656.2 million), beating market expectations, on higher provisions and slower loan growth.

Analysts in a recent Reuters poll were forecasting net profit of 485 million, on average.

The group, which operates in Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine, said net interest income grew 12 percent to 1.8 billion euros. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)