Piraeus Bank posts higher Q1 profit on strong net interest income

Piraeus Bank said it outperformed several targets, notably loan book expansion. [Reuters]

Piraeus Bank, the country's third-largest lender by market value, reported higher quarterly net earnings on Friday on strong net interest income.

The bank, which is 27% owned by the state's HFSF bank rescue fund, reported net earnings of 180 million euros in the first three months of the year, compared with a profit of 170 million euros in the last quarter of 2022.

Net interest income in the first quarter rose to 420 million euros from 407 million euros in the fourth quarter, benefiting from the favorable interest rate environment.

Piraeus Bank's book of so-called non-performing exposures (NPE), or bad loans, continued to shrink to a ratio of 6.6% of its total loan book at the end of March from 6.8% in December. It aims to cut that to below 6.0% by the end of the year.

The bank lifted its earnings per share target to about 0.55 euros this year from a...

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