Commerzbank's targeted rise in 2019 net profit 'ambitious'

FILE PHOTO: A Commerzbank logo is pictured before the bank’s annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) on Wednesday posted net profit in the second quarter that was little changed from a year ago, helped by low taxes, but the German bank said its target for a slight increase in full-year net profit had become “significantly more ambitious”.

Net profit of 271 million euros ($303.79 million) in the quarter was better than the 217 million euros expected by analysts and compares with 272 million euros a year earlier.

Commerzbank is working on a new strategic plan that it will present later this year after talks to merge with Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) were discontinued in April.

“We are continuing on our growth path and are making significant progress. Despite all the successes, challenges continue to increase,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke said.

Revenues fell to 2.129 billion euros in the second quarter, from 2.178 billion a year earlier. That was slightly lower than the 2.135 billion expected.

But the bank stuck to its forecast that underlying revenues would be higher in 2019 than in 2018.

The failure of talks with Deutsche raised questions about Commerzbank’s future as a stand-alone bank and some foreign banks had expressed interest in taking it over.

($1 = 0.8921 euros)

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Michelle Martin

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