Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft

ots Ad hoc-Service: Commerzbank AG Interim report as of March 31, 2000: Commerzbank achieves record result

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    Frankfurt (ots Ad hoc-Service) -      Interim report as of March 31,
2000: Commerzbank achieves record result

    The  Commerzbank Group began the year 2000 with outstanding earnings figures. At Euro 598m, its pre-tax profit was 27.2% stronger than the already high year-earlier result, easily topping the previous all-time record registered in the first quarter of 1998. After tax expenses and minority interests have been deducted, a profit of Euro 364m remains (+7.1%); this  represents Euro 0.71 per share (Euro  0.69 a year previously). The after-tax return on equity of 13.6% came fairly close to the targeted 15%. In view of these results, the bank's board of managing directors are confident as regards the rest of the year. In the interim report, they write:"The development of operative earnings is very encouraging; the strong increases in net commission income and the trading profit show that we are on the right course in both investment banking and branch business."

    For the first time, net commission income exceeded net interest income. Due above all to a virtual doubling of commissions on securities transactions effected on behalf of customers and successful asset-management activities, net commission  income expanded by almost 65% to Euro 751m. At Euro 616m, net interest income after provisioning, for which a pro-rata amount of  Euro 141m was set aside, was slightly less than 20% lower than the high year-earlier figure, which was boosted by special influences. The trading profit showed further strong improvement, at Euro 360m (+91.5%). On the other hand, the rise in costs was slowed considerably; while operating expenses of Euro 1,198m were as much as 21.4% higher than in the first  quarter of 1999, they were 6.8% down on the final quarter of the year. The bank's excellent earnings performance went hand in hand with strong business expansion.The Group's balance-sheet total rose by 9%, or Euro 33bn, from its end-