Groupe Crédit Mutuel-CM11, the largest bank within sprawling French mutualist group Crédit Mutuel Group, posted a 16.8% rise in first-half net profit, boosted by a strong rise in lending and retail banking.
The Strasbourg-based banking group said first-half net profit increased to €1.39 billion from €1.16 billion in the same period a year ago, as loans rose 6.8% to €358.3 billion. Sales of the bank's retail savings products were up 2.8% to €582.7 billion.
Net banking income, however, declined by 2.2% to €7.08 billion from €7.15 billion due to weak trading conditions on financial markets compared to the first half of 2017.
Net banking income at the lender's retail division rose by 2.7% to €5.16 billion, and Les Echos quoted CEO Daniel Baal as saying he was confident that retail revenues would rise between 2% and 3% for the whole year.
He also reiterated his support for the Crédit Mutuel Group, from which another bank, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa SACC, is seeking independence after the parent converted its governing body, the Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel, into a cooperative and merged it with the Caisse Centrale du Crédit Mutuel — responsible for members' liquidity needs — at the behest of the European Central Bank.
"Unity is the best solution for all the federations within Crédit Mutuel," the paper quoted Baal as saying.