Business

Credit Agricole sees profits rise

credit agricole headquarters
Image caption Credit Agricole has been hit by this year's Greek debt crisis

French bank Credit Agricole has reported a big rise in profits for the first half of the year, despite feeling the impact of the Greek debt crisis.

Net profits for the first six months rose to 849m euros (£693m; $1.1bn), the bank said.

That was despite a 379m-euro write-down at its Greek banking business Emporiki.

Credit Agricole's net profits for the second quarter of the year totalled 379m euros, up nearly 90% on the same period of 2009.

They were also higher than forecast by most analysts, and second-quarter revenues of 5.5bn euros also beat expectations.

The bank's earnings were boosted by a strong performance in its corporate and investment banking businesses, offsetting losses in Greece.

The investment bank made 330m euros in the second quarter, compared with an 87m-euro loss in the same period last year.

Emporiki, Greece's third-largest lender, last month reported a 325.8m-euro loss for the second quarter, adding to the 209.3m euros lost in the first three months of the year.

Credit Agricole's chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said his bank's strong performance came despite an economic climate of "persistent uncertainty and economic weakness".

The bank is the latest French lender to post better-than-expected results, following BNP Paribas and Societe Generale earlier this month.

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