Rabobank: acceptable result under deteriorating market conditions

Net profit for the first half-year up 4%

Operating expenses under control
Rabobank GroupÂ's operating result up 19 %
Local RabobanksÂ' operating result up 10 %
Savings up 3%
Membership up 120,000

Weaker growth in lending
Private sector lending increased by 2.5% during the first six months of the year to EUR 202.1 billion. Growth slowed partly as a result of a lower dollar exchange rate. In the first half of 2001 growth still came to 6%; for 2001 as a whole, growth of over 10% was achieved. Lending to private clients was up 5% during the past half-year, compared with 7% in the first half of 2001. Lending to the agricultural sector was up 3%, while lending to the trade, industry and services sector slipped 2%.

Further increase in savings
Savings increased by EUR 2 billion, or 3%, compared with year-end 2001, due to the further deterioration of the stock market climate. Clients preferred saving to investing.

The volume of funds entrusted decreased in the first six months of 2002 to EUR 166 (172) billion. Other funds entrusted were down EUR 8 billion. The volume of professional securities transactions was comparable with that achieved at end of 2001.

16% fewer orders
The last half-year was characterised by a further deterioration in the stock market climate, a fact reflected in the number of securities and options orders processed for clients of member Rabobanks. In the first half of the year, 844,000 orders were transacted, a fall of 16% compared with the first half of 2001 (1,003,000). In addition to the securities and options orders, an additional 545,000 (611,000) Robecofondsen orders were transacted, representing an 11% drop. However, the number of investing clients of member Rabobanks rose slightly to 627,000.

Fall in assets managed
The volume of assets managed by Rabobank Group was down 13% during the past half-year to EUR 154 (178) billion. Of the fall of EUR 24 billion, EUR 11 billion is attributable to the sale of International Private Banking. Falls in stock market prices were also a major factor. Assets managed is made up of EUR 100 (118) billion assets managed for clients and EUR 54 (60) billion of the groupÂ's investment portfolio.

Income up 6%
Rabobank GroupÂ's income in the first half of the year was up 6% at EUR 4,362 million. Net interest income climbed 10% thanks to growth in lending and savings, and a wider interest margin. Despite a fall in securities commission, commission was up 9%. Income from securities and participating interests was 28% higher than a year ago. Results on financial transactions amounted to EUR 70 (194) million and other income EUR 277 (301) million.

Operating expenses
Operating expenses were virtually unchanged, partly due to the efforts to reduce costs. There was a moderate increase in costs at almost all business units. In the years ahead the focus will be on further cost control.

Operating result up 19%
The operating result grew by 19% to EUR 1,463 million. The results of local banks and of lease activities increased. The deteriorating market conditions chiefly affected the results of Interpolis and of the asset management activities, which both recorded lower results than in the first half of 2001. The result generated by wholesale banking operations stabilised.

Net profit up 4%
The net profit of Rabobank Group totalled EUR 695 million, a rise of 4%.

The consolidated total assets of Rabobank Group increased by EUR 14 billion to EUR 377 billion in the first half of 2002, a rise of 4%. The Tier I ratio was 10.1 and the BIS ratio 10.3 at 30 June 2002. The growth in private sector lending slackened in the first half of the year to 2.5%. The further deterioration in the stock market climate prompted clients to save more. Savings increased by 3%.

Rise in group equity
Rabobank GroupÂ's reserves increased by EUR 0.2 billion to EUR 13.6 (13.4) billion. Group equity rose by EUR 0.1 billion, totalling EUR 18.9 billion at 30 June 2002. In addition to the bankÂ's reserves, this item consists of subor

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