Profits up 17% at Fortis

9 August 2007

Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis has posted a 16 per cent increase in second-quarter profit.

The firm's earnings for the period stood at $2.23 billion, compared with $1.91 billion for the year ago period.

Growth was driven principally by the firm's banking division , where profits rose 14 per cent to $1.59 billion from last year's figure of $1.52 billion. Meanwhile, insurance profit hit $568 million, up from $524 million.

A statement from Fortis said: "The considerable enhancement of the top line - albeit partly seasonal - combined with controlled expense growth of two per cent contributed to this major increase in net [banking] profit."

News of Fortis' performance comes as it has secured shareholder approval this week for a $17.9 billion share issue to fund its bid for ABN Amro.

Fortis is bidding for the Dutch bank as part of a consortium including Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.

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