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Commerzbank hopes for profitable 2006

Commerzbank, the German financial institution, has predicted a profitable year ahead based on better than expected first quarter results.

Germany's second biggest bank announced that it may well beat its own profitability estimates for the rest of 2006, amid much economic activity and a positive outlook on the stock markets.

First quarter results for Commerzbank were impressive, with net profits jumping to an impressive $934 million, up from just over $500 million a year earlier, beating analysts' estimates of an $830 million profit by 12 per cent.

The bank's core small business operations also performed well – seeing a 100 per cent increase in operating profits.

In a statement, the bank said that after such good results, it was confident that it would beat its return on equity targets set for 2006.

However, despite the promise of profitable times to come, investors in Commerzbank remain cautious over the recent acquisition of mortgage lending company Eurohypo, which the bank has admitted may not be as profitable as hoped.