GLOBAL - Dutch giant ABN Amro saw net profit stoop around 24% in 2001 following what was described as a "demanding" year.
The firm followed other financial bellwethers hit by last year’s global economic downturn and fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks. Pre-tax profit fell to EUR3,613m, compared with EUR4,725m for the corresponding period, 2000.
Chairman Rijkman Groenink said that the bank performed “relatively well” against this backdrop, with revenues for the year rising by 2% to EUR18.8m, and full year dividends remaining untouched at EUR0.90.
ABN’s new Private Clients and Asset Management division saw its figures knocked. Revenues were down 2.2% at EUR1,419m. Operating expenses rose 14.5% to EUR1,136m and pre-tax profit fell by 41% to EUR270m. Within asset management, the increase in operating expenses was apportioned to the acquisition of US-firm Alleghany Asset Management last February, and subsequent restructuring. Assets under management rose by 34% to EUR172bn as a result of the deal. But assets under administration remained more or less stagnant at EUR105bn, against last year’s EUR107bn.
ABN said that it's overall group strategy will be Europe-focused, with an emphasis on its asset gathering franchises. The firm added that asset management would now increasingly hone in on product development, expanding services to institutional investors, and implementing tighter cost control.
By Madhu Kalia
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