Credit crisis hits Fortis results

The financial services group Fortis on Monday announced net profit of €830m in the second quarter, a rise of 3% on the first quarter of 2008.

The results for the second quarter and the first half year have come under considerable pressure from the credit crisis, but are higher than analysts expected, say the financial media.
The concern reported first half net profit down 41% to €1.64bn compared to the same 2007 period. Excluding taxes and the credit market turmoil the decrease would have been 21%, the company said.
‘In the first half of 2008 our businesses, including the acquired ABN Amro activities, performed satisfactory in turbulent market conditions. Most of the commercial activities were still able to grow underlying revenues.
‘At the same time, costs were well controlled. But we observe that the environment is becoming more difficult on different fronts,’ said Fortis CEO Herman Verwilst in a statement.
On Friday Fortis announced that the replacement of its chief financial executive Gilbert Mittler by Lars Machenil. The move came just weeks after the resignation of CEO Jean-Paul Votron.
The group also said it will hold shareholder meetings to communicate its plans and strategy. ‘I consider it crucial to strengthen the communication with our stakeholders and will update the market in full transparency on progress made,’ Verwilst said.
Fortis shares have fallen 62% percent in the past year, reports Reuters news service on Monday.

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