Banco Popolare Second-Quarter Profit Rises 6.6% on Tax Benefit

Banco Popolare SC, Italy’s fourth-biggest bank by assets, said second-quarter profit rose 6.6 percent after a tax benefit offset lower operating income.

Net income increased to 138.1 million euros ($173 million) from 129.5 million euros a year earlier, beating the 81.3 million-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Results benefitted from a 67 million-euro gain from tax relief, the Verona, Italy-based bank said a statement today.

Chief Executive Officer Pier Francesco Saviotti is selling real-estate assets and cutting more than 1,000 jobs to boost capital and profit as part of its five-year business plan approved last year.

The lender’s core tier 1 ratio, a key measure of financial health, rose to 10.2 percent as of June 30 from 7.1 percent at the end of December.

Operating profit declined 25 percent to 309.7 million euros while revenue fell 13 percent to 890.4 million euros. Loan-loss provisions in the quarter decreased to 186.6 million euros from 192.7 million euros a year earlier.

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