Argentina's Grupo Galicia Q1 net profit down 44 pct

BUENOS AIRES Wed May 12, 2010 9:47am EDT

BUENOS AIRES May 12 (Reuters) - Leading Argentine banking conglomerate Grupo Financiero Galicia (GFG.BA) (GGAL.O) reported on Wednesday a first-quarter net profit of 51.7 million pesos ($13.3 million), compared with 91.9 million pesos a year before.

The net profit was lower than market expectations. A Reuters poll of four analysts put the company's net at a median of 54.5 million pesos, with estimates ranging from 52 million to 64 million pesos.

The group's main unit, Banco Galicia (GAL.BA), posted a first-quarter profit of 60.7 million pesos, compared with 30.1 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. ($1 = 3.885 pesos on March 31) (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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