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Credit Agricole posts 53% rise in Q1 net income

French bank Credit Agricole has posted a 53% increase in net income to E1.38 billion for the first quarter, which surpassed the bank's own targets under its development plan.

Gross operating income was 46.7% higher at E1.5 billion. Paris-based Credit Agricole said that strong performances across the business drove revenues. The bank highlighted an increase in net banking income, low risk-related costs and an exceptionally high contribution of E70 million from equity affiliate Eurazeo as key drivers for the quarter.

The corporate and investment banking division also posted a strong performance, with net income 59.2% higher than in the first quarter of 2005, at E479 million. However, proprietary asset management made a loss of E65 million.

The first quarter also saw the start of the bank’s international retail banking development plan. The acquisition of the Egyptian retail bank Egyptian American Bank was followed by the purchase of a controlling interest in the life and non-life bancassurance subsidiaries of the BES group in Portugal in February and the acquisition of Index Bank in Ukraine in March.

Chief executive Georges Pauget said that results had reached an all-time high in the first quarter of 2006 reflecting an improvement of performances in each of the group’s business lines in an exceptionally favorable environment.