VIENNA, May 22 (Reuters) - Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International reaffirmed its commitment to its lucrative Russian operations and trimmed its 2014 outlook on Thursday while reporting first-quarter profit that easily beat market expectations.
Announcing it would repay within a month all or part of the state aid it got during the financial crisis, central and eastern Europe’s second-biggest lender said net profit edged up to 161 million euros ($220 million), above the average estimate of 124 million euros in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
RBI said it now expected lending to hold steady this year rather than rise slightly and saw risk provisions rising to 1.3- 1.4 billion euros from 1.15 billion in 2013. It reiterated that “results may be impacted by the ECB Asset Quality Review process and further deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and Russia”.
$1 = 0.7318 Euros Reporting by Michael Shields