Fortis: 8% higher net operating profit

Its excellent operating performance in the first half of 2002 proves that Fortis has been able to adapt to the changing economic circumstances and benefits from its diverse mix of activities.

Highlights first half of 2002:
· Net operating profit excluding realized capital gains of EUR 1,172 million: an 8% rise on the strongest six-month period ever
· Costs in banking down 6%
· Allocation to provisions for credit risks limited to 39% of full-year 2001 provisions
· Solvency EUR 9.1 billion in excess of legally required minimum
· Net operating profit of EUR 1,479 million (EUR 1.14 per share), down 4%

As a result of the substantial decline of the cost base in banking (-6%), a higher technical result for the insurance business, both in Life and Non-life, and owing to the limited provisions for credit risks, the insurance business and the banking activities registered increases of 13% and 9% respectively in their net operating profit excluding realized capital gains. For Fortis as a whole this rise amounted to 8% relative to the first half of 2001 – Fortis’s strongest six-month period ever. The unfavourable stock market climate during the first half of 2002 gave rise to lower realized capital gains than in the same period of last year, particularly in the insurance businesses, as a result of which the net operating profit fell, albeit by only 4%. As non-operating elements were also substantially lower, the net profit came to EUR 1,519 million (EUR 1.17 per share), an 18% decline.

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Â'(source: Fortis)

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