ABN AMRO announces preliminary first quarter results; net profit approximately 890 mln (NL)

ABN AMRO today announces preliminary first quarter results following the 30 March 2005 update on recent developments that accompanied the announcement of the planned acquisition of Banca Antonveneta. The update had been based on confirmed results for January and February 2005 and a forecast for March. With the additional information subsequently available, ABN AMRO now expects first quarter operating result and net profit to be higher than the forecasts on 30 March 2005.

ABN AMRO expects the operating result for the first quarter of 2005 to be approximately EUR 1,340 mln compared with EUR 1,331 mln under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the first quarter of 2004. The operating result for the first quarter of 2004 excludes results from discontinued operations, such as LeasePlan and the Bank of Asia, as these are now a separate line under IFRS. Net profit for the first quarter 2005 is expected to be approximately EUR 890 mln compared with EUR 825 mln under IFRS in the first quarter of 2004. It should be noted that results in the first quarter of 2004 include EUR 115 million in proceeds from the sale of the stake in Bank Austria.

The higher than expected results compared with the 30 March forecast are due to higher results in the SBU Consumer & Commercial Clients, the SBU WCS and the BU Private Equity.

Consumer & Commercial Clients
Net profit in the BU NL, BU Brazil and BU North America (BU NA) will be higher than that anticipated on 30 March. The higher net profit in the BU NA is partly due to positive hedge ineffectiveness.

WCS benefited from improved proprietary trading results on the back of favourable euro and US dollar yield curve developments during the last few days of March as well as higher other results. Consequently, the operating result for WCS for the first quarter 2005 will decline less than previously expected.

Decisions on required provisioning were made by the Group Risk Committee in its meeting on 11 April, leading to a higher release of provisions than those forecast on 30 March. The total provisioning is a net release of approximately EUR 60 mln which will lead to a net profit for WCS for the first quarter of 2005 of approximately EUR 55 mln versus the break-even result previously anticipated.

BU Private Equity
The performance of the BU Private Equity is expected to be higher than that anticipated on 30 March. Net profit is expected at approximately EUR 100 mln for the first quarter due to a greater than expected impact from the fair valuation of holdings calculated in accordance with IFRS at the end of the quarter.

ABN Amro to sell London headquarters
On another note, ABN Amro has put its London headquarters on the market for an estimated £180m, the Financial Times reported.

The imminent sale of 250 Bishopsgate makes ABN Amro the latest bank to sell and lease back its property to take advantage of the strong investment market.

Source: ABN AMRO

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