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Banca Monte dei Paschi's Q1 profit drops sharply, but impairments fall

reported a 35.2% year-over-year decrease in first-quarter netprofit to €93.2 million from €143.7 million.

EPSfell to 3.1 cents from 37.9 cents.

Pretaxprofit from continuing operations for the period dropped by 48.2% to €122.3million from €236.1 million in the first quarter of 2015. Net interest incomefell to €548.3 million from €606.7 million a year earlier, while net fee andcommission income rose to €456.9 million from €443.0 million.

Totalrevenues fell to €1.19 billion from €1.37 billion, while operating expensesdecreased only slightly to €645.0 million from €653.3 million. Net operatingincome fell to €191.3 million from €265.5 million.

Thebank's cost-to-income ratio was 54.4% compared with 50.4% at year-end 2015,while its ROE fell to 3.9% from 5.1% over the same period.

Netimpaired loans made up 21.2% of total loans to customers, an improvement on theyear-end 2015 ratio of 21.7%. Net impairment losses on loans decreasedsubstantially to €345.9 million from €468.2 million.

Montedei Paschi's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 11.7% at the end of March,down from 12.0% at the end of 2015.