Crédit Agricole reports strong earnings growth in 2005

Crédit Agricole achieved record revenues in all business lines in Q4 2005, pushing operating income up by 61.5% over the same period in 2004.

Net income (Group share) also rose 2.3x over the period. Full-year net income (Group share) came to EUR 3,891 million, an increase of 55.6% compared with 2004, building on the favourable trend of the first nine months of the year.

Asset management activities saw a record inflow of funds and continued to expand both in France and abroad, while corporate and investment banking activities enjoyed an excellent year in both commercial and financial terms, strengthening their position in Europe and worldwide in a number of business lines.

Asset management and private banking performed exceptionally well in 2005 while building first-class positions in their business areas. A number of major operating developments were seen in 2005:  
 
In asset management: agreement with Banca Intesa, creation of Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM);
In investor services, creation of Crédit Agricole-Caisse d'Epargne Investor Services (CACEIS) in partnership with Caisses d'Epargne, giving the group a leading position;
In private banking, completion of the mergers of private banking units in Switzerland and Luxembourg and creation of a 'high net worth' structure in France;

In terms of commercial performance and under favourable market conditions, 2005 saw record new inflows of over EUR 55 billion. Combined with the market effect, this resulted in a 38.3% increase in assets under management to EUR 563 billion (excluding double counting) at end-December 2005.   

In 2005, assets under management in the asset management division rose by 41.5%, with Nextra's assets under management consolidated at 65%. Excluding Nextra, assets under management were up 22% at EUR 491.2 billion. Net inflows exceeded EUR 35 billion compared with EUR 15 billion in 2004 and the market effect contributed a further EUR 41 billion. The strategy of expanding outside France continued to bear fruit, with international subsidiaries generating nearly 50% of net inflows. This strong business momentum was thanks to the
rationalisation of mutual fund offerings, continued innovation and enhancement of the product range.
 
Private banking assets under management rose by 13.2% to EUR 79.5 billion at end-December 2005, nearly 65% of which came from international subsidiaries. This growth was due to a general upturn on the financial markets, a change in scope and growth in net inflows, particularly in France with BGPI. Outside France, 2005 was devoted to the development of a more effective and competitive logistics platform.

In corporate and investment banking, a number of advances were achieved in 2005 in the various business segments, boosting the bank's relative position in the various industry rankings. It is now among the top five in aircraft finance, project finance and structured commodities finance. In primary equity markets and French equity brokerage, Calyon is ranked respectively N°1 in both Europe and France.  

2005 saw significant improvement in operating performance, positioning Calyon as one of the top corporate and investment banks in Europe, achieving one of the strongest rates of growth in gross operating income in both percentage and absolute terms, as well as the greatest improvement in its cost/income ratio.

Since the creation of Calyon, corporate and investment banking revenues have risen continually, marked by outstanding business momentum that accelerated in the second half of the year, resulting in growth in net banking income of close to 20% compared with 2004. This was thanks to capital markets and investment banking (+25.6%), as well as financing activities (+12.9%). The business mix improved, in line with the targets of the strategic development plan of establishing a broad portfolio of activities comprising more than 20 product lines, each with critical mass in its market.

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