Commerzbank to resume dividend payout after favourable

GMT 09:35 2015 Thursday ,07 May

Arab Today, arab today Commerzbank to resume dividend payout after favourable

Frankfurt - AFP

Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest lender, said Thursday it planned to pay a dividend for 2015 for the first time since 2008 after business developed favourably in the first three months.

"We have made a successful start into 2015. We are performing well in all the operating segments and ... have considerably improved the revenues," said chief executive Martin Blessing.

"We have more than doubled the result in the first quarter. We are planning for a dividend for the financial year 2015 and are accruing quarterly. However, we have to wait, whether it will be enough at the end of the year," Blessing said.

Commerzbank was severely hit by the financial crisis, having to be rescued by the state in 2009 and the government still holds a 15-percent stake in the bank.

In the first three months of this year, net profit jumped 83 percent to 366 million euros ($416 million).

Underlying or operating profit more than doubled, rising to 685 million euros in the period from January to March from 324 million euros a year earlier. Revenues were upo 23 percent at 2.782 billion euros.

Last week, Commerzbank said it had raised 1.4 billion euros in fresh capital to boost its capital buffers.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the bank expressed confidence.

"Despite the challenging environment as a result of the low interest rates, in the 2015 financial year we aim to grow the revenues and market share," said chief financial officer Stephan Engels.

"As expenses are under pressure due to regulatory requirements and the European bank levy, comprehensive execution of ongoing efficiency programmes are necessary to keep our cost base stable over the year," Engels said.

The group aimed to increase its core capital ratio -- a measure of financial strength to "significantly more than 10 percent by the end of 2015," he added.

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