Greece’s Eurobank sees rising profit by 2026 on growing foreign business

Athens: Eurobank Holdings (EURBr.AT), opens new tab, Greece’s biggest lender, on Thursday posted strong operating profit for 2023 and said the figure will rise further by 2026, as it benefits from a growing business in Cyprus and Bulgaria.

Core operating profit rose by an annual 69.4% in 2023 to 1.47 billion euros, Eurobank said.

It will reach 1.6 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in 2026, up from 1.5 billion euros this year, the bank said.

“In a lower interest rates environment, Eurobank aims to generate resilient returns to shareholders, which will be further enhanced by the full integration of Hellenic Bank in Cyprus,” it said in a statement.

The payout ratio will gradually increase to about 50% of profits in 2026, from about 25% this year, Eurobank added.

Greek banks have been working to reduce a pile of non-performing credit, the legacy of a decade-long financial crisis that shrank the economy by a quarter.

The non-performing exposure ratio was 3.5% at the end of 2023, down from 5.2% in 2022.

Net interest income came in at 2.17 billion euros last year, a 47% annual rise, on the back of high interest rates in the euro zone and a recovering Greek economy.