May 4, 2018 / 5:58 AM / a year ago

Lower risk provisioning lifts Erste Group's net profit

VIENNA, May 4 (Reuters) - Austrian bank Erste Group’s first-quarter net profit came in slightly above expectations on Friday, helped by robust economic growth in its markets across eastern Europe and a “benign” environment that let it cut its risk provisioning.

Net profit in the first three months of 2018 rose to 332.6 million euros ($398.6 million) from 262.2 million euros in the same period last year, surpassing the average estimate of 311 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

“Demand for loans continues to be strong, particularly in the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” Chief Executive Andreas Treichl said. “The by far biggest contribution came, however, from an exceptionally benign risk environment, which resulted in net releases.” ($1 = 0.8344 euros) (Reporting by Francois Murphy)

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