SOURCE: FORTIS

March 03, 2006 01:39 ET

Fortis realises 45% increase in 2005 net profit before results on divestment to EUR 3.5 billion

BRUSSEL, BELGIUM -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 3, 2006 -- Brussels/Utrecht, 3 March 2006

Due to unforeseen circumstances (the theft of a briefcase including a draft of the annual results release) and given the potential market sensitiveness of the information, the following press release is published. While there's no indication that the purpose of the theft was the draft text under embargo, Fortis has, in the interest of transparency, decided to bring forward headline information. Fortis stresses that these figures have not yet been submitted to the Fortis Board of Directors. Fortis confirms the full release of all details on March 9, at 7:30 CET, as planned. Until then no further comments will be given.

*        Net profit before results on divestments:

*        Net profit before results on divestments up 45% to EUR 3.5
  billion

*        Banking net profit before results on divestments up 53% to
  EUR 2.4 billion

*        Insurance net profit before results on divestments up 9% to
  EUR 1.2 billion

*        2005 net profit up 32% on 2004 to EUR 3.9 billion; earnings
  per share up 31% to EUR 3.07

*        Fourth-quarter net profit before results on divestments
  amounted to EUR 461 million, up 24% on the fourth quarter of 2004

*        Total proposed dividend is EUR 1.16 per share in cash, up
  12% from EUR 1.04 for 2004. As an interim dividend of EUR 0.52 per
  share was paid in September 2005, the proposed final dividend
  amounts to EUR 0.64 per share
Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 39 billion (28/02/2006), Fortis ranks among the twenty largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in 44 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 57,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support. More information is available on www.fortis.com


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