Pordenone, 27 February 2004


Net  income almost reaches 40 million euro (+16%)
A dividend of 1.70 euro per share will be proposed to
the Shareholders' Meeting

The Board of Directors of Banca Popolare FriulAdria (Gruppo Intesa), met today in Pordenone and examined and approved the draft 2003 financial statements presented by the Chairman Angelo Sette.
During the year, with the appointment of Luigi De Puppi as CEO, the Bank further strengthened its mission as reference bank  for families, companies and institutions in the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Eastern Veneto regions and privileged partner for local economic players interested in developing their relations with Eastern Countries.
With 154 branches, over 12,500 shareholders, over 1,300 employees and approximately 270,000 customers, FriulAdria closed 2003 with a net income of 39.6 million euro, up by 16% with respect to the previous year. This will enable to propose to the next Shareholders' Meeting the distribution of a dividend of 1.70 euro per share.
Particularly significant was the development of loans to customers, which amounted to 2,876 million euro at year-end, with a 12.2% growth rate with respect to the same period of 2002. The rise was driven by both medium-long terms loans, which recorded a 204 million euro increase (+14.8%), and short-term loans, up by 108 million euro (+9.1%).
Direct customer deposits also increased, to 2,658 million euro. Breakdown of the caption confirmed the positive trends recorded by current accounts (+1.8%) and issued bonds (+6.5%).
Global indirect customer deposits registered a 5.4% rise, to 5,126 million euro. In this case the most noteworthy increases were recorded by asset management (+11.9%) and especially mutual funds (+28.8%).
The high capitalisation (up from 403.6 to 406.7 million euro) continues to be one of the key strengths of FriulAdria and confirms its leading role in loans to enterprises also in consideration of the introduction of the New Basel Capital Accord.
Net interest and other banking income equalled 209.2 million euro up by almost one percentage point with respect to the previous year. The rise was decidedly attributable to net income from services which recorded a +7.6% growth rate, which more than offset a slight stress registered in interest margin.
Lastly, proof of a sound and efficient management, in 2003 income from operating activities, despite the persisting fluctuating trend recorded by financial markets, exceeded 73 million euro, with a 6.3 million euro rise (+9.4%) with respect to 2002.
This result reflected the contribution, also in 2003, of the continuous and attentive effort aimed at containing running costs which led to savings in operating costs of 7.5 million euro (-5.9%) with respect to the previous year.