[Update]Gelin: Earning drivers for 2009 calendar year are positive.

BRD – Societe Generale will continue to return profit even in 2009, said Patrick Gelin, CEO of the bank, in a media briefing earlier today. However, the Chief Executive Officer didn’t make any predictions on the level of this year’s earnings of the bank.

“It is excluded to record losses. BRD is a solid bank, which never had any problem”, said Sorin-Mihai Popa, deputy managing director of the bank.

Gelin didn’t disclose any further information on how the bank would reinvest the profit for 2008, but he said that this decision would be made by the shareholders, in a general meeting scheduled for late April.

As for the liquidity of the bank, the CEO of BRD said it looked positive, given the rising deposits drawn by the bank in the beginning of the year, after a 6% advance of liquidity volume drawn from clients in 2008 compared to end-2007.

Counting down the earnings stemming from the sale of stake in Asiban, the bank’s consolidated profit jumped 22%, to 1.138 billion lei (roughly 309 million euro).

BRD reported a gross operating profit of 1.814 billion lei for the year ending in December 31 2008, up by roughly 31% from a year earlier.

As for the results at the level of entire group, BRD SocGen recorded a net consolidated profit of 1.36 billion lei (roughly 370 million euro), up 46% from a year earlier, and excluding the earnings from Asiban deal, the net consolidated profit of the bank hiked 22%, to 1.138 billion lei (nearly 309 million euro).

The after-tax profit includes the results recorded by BRD Sogelease subsidiaries, BRD Finance and BRD Securities.

The bank’s assets rose 26% in the January-December 2008 interval, from 38.96 billion lei, up to 49.24 billion lei.

The overall revenues of BRD increased by 78% from last year, up to 17.69 billion lei, (4.8 billion euros), compared to prior year’s revenues that amounted to 9.95 billion lei. The total expenses of the bank increased by nearly 82% in 2008, up to 16.07 billion lei (4.37 billion euro), while in 2007, the total costs amounted to 8.85 billion lei.

The bank said the net banking income equated 3.199 billion lei (869 million euro), in 2008, up 27% from a year earlier.

Furthermore, BRD granted loans worth 34 billion lei last year, 27% more than in 2007, of which 48% being loans to individuals. The value of deposits increased by merely 6% last year, up to 28.5 billion lei, compared to end-2007.