SOURCE: Credit Agricole

March 08, 2006 04:19 ET

CREDIT AGRICOLE : Strong earnings growth (1) fuelled by the successful transformation of the Group in a favourable overall climate

PARIS Cedex 15 -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 8, 2006 -- Paris, 8 March 2006

2005 results

- Gross operating income before integration-related costs : EUR 4,527 million (+28.3%)

- Net income (Group share) : EUR 3,891 million (+55.6%)

- Cost/income ratio before integration-related costs : 66.9% (-4.0 points)

- ROE : 15.8%

- Net earnings per share : EUR 2.68 (+55.7%)

- Proposed dividend : EUR 0.94 per share (+42.4%)

2005 fourth-quarter results (Change 4th quarter 2005/ 4th quarter 2004)

- Gross operating income before integration-related costs : EUR 1,208 million (+61.5%)

- Net income (Group share) : EUR 1,006 million (x2.3)

The Group's excellent performance in the fourth quarter of 2005 attests to its healthy activities in all business lines, each of which delivered record quarterly revenues. As a result, gross operating income increased by nearly 61.5% and net income (Group share) was up 2.3x compared with the fourth quarter of 2004, which constituted a favourable benchmark.

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.

This performance reflects strong growth in France and particularly in international operations, combined with tight cost controls, in a favourable overall climate in terms of market conditions and risk-related costs.

At the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of EUR 0.94 per share. This represents a 42.4% increase on the dividend paid for 2004.

CRÉDIT AGRICOLE S.A. CONSOLIDATED RESULTS

[1] For accounting purposes, all tha data for 2004, for this presentation, and the changes have been estimated in accordance with IAS/IFRS, including 32 and 39. These estimates are not part of the regulatory financial data audited by the Group's auditors.

Net income (Group share) came to EUR 3,891 million in 2005, an increase of 55.6% compared with 2004.

The significant improvement in gross operating income to EUR 4,527 million was thanks to a 13.1% increase in net banking income to EUR 13,693 million, as a result of robust business and restored momentum in all business lines. Meanwhile, operating expenses rose by just 6.8% year-on-year to EUR 9,166 million. This increase relates to organic growth in all business lines, which was partly absorbed by synergies.

Consequently, productivity improves significantly as witnessed by cost/income ratio decrease of by 4 percentage points to 66.9% at end-December 2005.

Risk-related costs came to EUR 643 million, an increase of 11.8% compared with 2004, under continuing favourable risk conditions, as a result of provision charges due to accounting for provisions for doubtful debts under IAS (recording of an interest on discounted provisions).

The contribution from equity affiliates rose by 27.5% from EUR 1,169 million in 2004 to EUR 1,490 million in 2005.

The tax charge increased by 24.9% to EUR 942 million.

Net income (Group share) before integration-related costs came to EUR 4,042 million, an increase of 41.5%, giving ROE of 15.8%.

Integration-related costs for Crédit Agricole s.a. and Crédit Lyonnais recognised in the income statement decreased significantly to EUR 219 million, down EUR 333 million compared with 2004. Synergies of EUR 663 million were generated over the full year, above the target of EUR 620 million announced at the time of the takeover bid for Crédit Lyonnais.

In the fourth quarter of 2005, net banking income increased by 23.8% to EUR 3,682 million, the Group's highest ever quarterly result. All business lines achieved record quarterly net banking income.

Despite this excellent revenue growth, costs were contained, resulting in gross operating income before integration-related costs of EUR 1,208 million, an increase of 61.5%. The cost/income ratio improved by 7.7 percentage points in relation to the fourth quarter of 2004.

After risk-related costs, which remained low, and a sharp reduction in integration-related costs, net income (Group share) increased by 2.3x to EUR 1,006 million.

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Relations INVESTISSEURS

Denis Kleiber 01.43.23.26.78

Claude Rosenfeld 01.43.23.23.81

Marguerite Borsotto 01.43.23.34.83

Brigitte Lefebvre-Hebert 01.43.23.27.56

Annabelle Wiriath 01.43.23.40.42

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