Raiffeisen profit drops

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Raiffeisen profit drops

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Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank has posted lower first-quarter profit.

At 157 million euros, it was down 72 percent. However the year earlier number had been boosted by one-off income.

There was good news as its provisions for bad debt had to be increased less than expected.

Raiffeisen remains optimistic that the fragile economic situation in central and eastern Europe – which is its main customer base – will improve in the second half of this year.

“Although the first half of 2013 should be affected by a decrease in growth, a slow economic recovery is anticipated for the second half of the year, provided the eurozone economy picks up steam,” it said.

The results come as the bank seeks to fill a leadership vacuum left by the resignation of Chief Executive Herbert Stepic over the use of front companies to buy overseas property. He denies any wrongdoing.