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Volksbank H1 profit rises YOY

Volksbank NV reported first-half consolidated net result of €154 million, up from €149 million in the same period in 2018.

Return on equity for the period was 8.6%, up from 8.5% a year ago.

Net interest income fell year over year to €442 million from €455 million, while net fee and commission income rose to €25 million from €21 million. Investment income amounted to €8 million, compared to a loss of €3 million a year earlier.

The Dutch state-controlled lender booked a negative result on financial instruments of €5 million, compared to a positive result of €7 million in the first half of 2018. Impairment charges dropped on a yearly basis to €13 million from €16 million.

Total operating expenses fell to €278 million from the year-ago €301 million.

As of June-end, the bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 37.1%, compared to 35.5% at the end of 2018 and 34.3% a year ago. The leverage ratio was 5.3% at the end of June, compared to 5.5% at 2018-end and 5.2% a year earlier.

Volksbank Chairman Maurice Oostendorp said the lender expects profit for the second half to be lower than in the first half, but that the net result for 2019 will likely be in line with that of 2018, which came in at €268 million.

Net interest income for 2019 is expected to decline year over year, mainly due to lower interest income on mortgages, although an expected fall in total operating expenses for the year will largely compensate for the lower net interest income, the bank noted.