VIENNA, May 3 (Reuters) - Austrian lender Erste Group on Friday reported a 12 percent increase in first-quarter net profit, topping expectations thanks to solid lending in its core markets including the Czech Republic and Austria.
Net profit reached 377 million euros ($421.15 million) in the January to March period. Analysts had forecast 354 million euros in a Reuters poll.
The lender said it aims to achieve a return on tangible equity (ROTE) of more than 11 percent this year.
$1 = 0.8952 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Thomas Seythal