One Of France's Largest Banks Posts Big Profit After Exiting Troubled Greece And Italy

A branch of French bank Crédit Agricole in Marseille
Crédit Agricole REUTERS

Crédit Agricole (PA:ACA), the world's eighth-largest bank, said on Tuesday that its second-quarter profit soared following the sale of its Greek and Italian businesses.

Profit rose to 696 million euros ($922 million) from just 56 million euros the year before, beating analysts' estimates for the period. Revenue though slipped 0.9 percent, to $4.4 billion.

Last year, the bank suffered losses of 370 million euros at its Emporiki Bank business in Greece and 427 million euros on its stake in Intesa Sanpaolo of Italy, both of which have now been sold. Last year's loss of 6.5 billion euros was the bank's biggest deficit ever.

The bank's shares have more than doubled since it sold the units last year.

Jean-Paul Chifflet, Crédit Agricole’s chief executive, said in a statement that the results confirmed the bank “has changed its profile and is adapting to the prevailing context and the new regulations.”

The bank has now shifted its focus to debt markets and has seen a 38 percent rise, to 277 million euros in corporate and investment banking business, and a 3.4 percent increase in its domestic retail business, despite the poor French economy currently.

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