Credit Agricole Q1 net income up, costs fall

PARIS Wed May 7, 2014 1:00am EDT

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PARIS May 7 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole, France's third-biggest listed bank, reported a 29.6 percent rise in quarterly net income on Wednesday as cost cuts took effect and as the health of its Italian consumer-loan unit improved.

Credit Agricole, which is returning to its roots as a France-focused retail bank after a painful acquisition spree abroad, said it was committed to implementing its recently unveiled medium-term strategic plan, which called for more cost cuts and a broader range of products to boost profits.

The bank, which is majority owned by a network of cooperative regional lenders, said first-quarter net income rose to 868 million euros ($1.21 billion) from 469 million in the year-ago period.

Taking into account one-off items and the sale of assets in Belgium, the increase was 29.6 percent, it said. ($1 = 0.7177 Euros) (Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by James Regan)

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