National Bank Group on Thursday said its after tax profit totaled 457 million euros in the first half of 2020, up from 239 million in the same period last year, excluding the cost of a voluntary retirement programme (90 million suros) and other pension related and restructuring costs (27 million euros).
Pavlos Mylonas, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, commenting on the results, said: “ Covid19 continues to dictate the economy's movements. The enforcement of restrictive measures and heightened uncertainty led to an unprecedented drop in economic activity in 2020. However, with the gradual opening up of the economy with a lag the important tourism sector, and increasing fiscal and liquidity stimuli, activity in specific sectors is showing clear signs of a recovery in June and July.
"In this extraordinary environment, our role in supporting our clients and the Greek economy is more critical than ever. To this end, we have implemented targeted payment moratoria measures and Government support schemes. Specifically, we have granted payment moratoria amounting to ca 3.5 billion euros to more than 39 thousand clients. In addition, we have disbursed new loans of 2.8 billion euros, in conjunction with the Government guarantee schemes, while more than 2.0 billion euros of additional disbursements are currently in the pipeline for the 2nd half of the year.
"Regarding asset quality, we followed a conservative approach of incurring the total anticipated provisions relating to Covid19 in 1Q20 (ca 0.4 billion). Later this year, we expect to launch the Project Frontier securitization. With a perimeter of over € 6b, Project Frontier’s successful conclusion would reduce NBG’s current NPE stock of 10 billion euros by nearly two-thirds. We will be leveraging our enhanced PPI capacity to absorb incremental provisions required. We target to complete the transaction in 1H21.
"The core operating performance of the Group has been resilient during a very difficult environment. Core Operating Profit rose by 21% yoy to 132 million euros for 1H20. This outcome reflects solid results in containing domestic personnel and G&A costs by -9% and -6% respectively yoy, as well as lower underlying credit risk charges reflecting surprisingly better than expected organic NPE behavior.
"In this critical period and as the economy recovers, we will continue to capitalize on our established and successful Transformation Program. Building on the existing momentum, the shift to digital will be accelerated, as will the implementation of a more agile operating model so as to improve the Bank’s efficiency. I am proud of our achievements during the turbulent first half of the year; keeping our people safe, supporting our clients and the economy, thus fulfilling our historical role.”