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Aareal Bank Quarterly Profit Gains as Competitors Wound Down

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Aareal Bank AG, a German commercial-property lender, said second-quarter profit climbed 12 percent after picking up clients from failed Eurohypo AG and Westimmo.

Net income rose to 29 million euros ($36 million), from 26 million euros, the Wiesbaden-based lender said today. Operating profit was little changed at 44 million euros.

Commerzbank AG said in June it’s winding down its Eurohypo unit, once the biggest real estate lender in Europe, after WestLB did the same with its Westimmo division. Aareal targets new business of 4.5 billion to 5.5 billion euros this year as real-estate markets in Germany, France and Poland withstand property slumps elsewhere in Europe.

“Former clients of Eurohypo and other failed real estate lenders are seeking a safe haven and coming to us,” Chief Executive Officer Wolf Schumacher said on a conference call today. “We are benefiting from the situation as we can reach higher margins.”

Aareal climbed as much as 2 percent in Frankfurt trading and gained 1.3 percent to 14.88 euros at 10:51 a.m. The stock has advanced 6.3 percent this year, giving the bank a market value of 890 million euros.

The company sees “good potential for achieving full-year consolidated operating profit that is only slightly below last year’s very good result,” Schumacher said. “As economic risks have increased we stick to our conservative business policy: first funding and second new business.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Niklas Magnusson in Hamburg at nmagnusson1@bloomberg.net; Annette Weisbach in Frankfurt at aweisbach1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Niklas Magnusson at nmagnusson1@bloomberg.net

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