The net profit according to Romanian accounting standards for the period stood at 126 million lei (29.8 million euros), the same as in the first six months of 2008.

The bank's return on equity (ROE) stood at 18.8 percent in the first half of the year, while the return on assets (ROA) was of 1.9 percent.

The lender considers this a very good result given global economic crisis, sharp reduction of economic activity, industrial production, sales and customer demand, and increased credit risks, the release reads.

Operating profit for Jan – Jun period was up 27 percent year-on-year to 316 million lei (74.7 million euros), driven by 18% growth in revenues, but only 9% in operating expenses.

Moreover, the cost-to-income ratio stood at 47 percent, above the system average, despite the 103 new branches opened in the last 18 months. A series of cost optimization actions were undertaken this year, without any negative impact on business and service quality whatsoever, the bank stressed.

The solvency ratio stood above 10 percent, the limit imposed by the central lender in the context of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and exceeds the minimum threshold regulated at European level, of 8 percent.