30 Jul 2019
Millennium bcp, being Portugal’s largest listed bank, saw its net profit expand by 12.7% to 169.8 million euros in the first six months of 2019.
The growth in profit was especially driven by activity in Portugal, which contributed a whopping 72.7 million euros and recording 23.2% growth from last year.
Additionally, Millennium bcp’s net interest income increased by 7.6% to 740.1 million euros between January and June 2019, regardless of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) record low rates.
The increase in net interest income was “fundamentally based on a reduction in the cost of funding, namely a decrease in the cost of debt issued, together with a decrease in the cost of time deposits,” said Chief Executive Officer Miguel Maya.
“It was a challenging semester due to the evolution of the ECB’s monetary policy. But we had an improvement in the group, with a core income expansion and impairment reduction.”
Last week, the ECB revealed that it expects key rates will remain at current or lower levels until mid-2020, despite previously saying it forecasts that they will remain unchanged until next June.
Maya went on to say that the bank was not expecting the new ECB guidance but will manage to “win in this context”, making use of “more business intensity, efficiency and credit quality”.
The bank cut its non-performing exposures (NPE) by 1.7 billion euros to 5 billion euros in June while impairments dropped by 13.1% to 243.1 million euros and loan impairments falling 9.2% to 200 million euros. In the same six-month period, operating costs rose by 6.7% to 526 million euros.