Erste Bank reported a 30.1% increase in its net profit last year, up to 932.2 million euro, the highest in the history of the Austrian financial group. The contribution of the recently acquired Romanian Commercial Bank-BCR was evaluated to 27.4 million euro, a company press release says.

The document says however that because the BCR acquisition process was concluded on October 12 last year, the contribution of the Romanian bank was rather modest. But it says that BCR’s local resuts, up 38% to 254 million euro before restructuring measures in 2006, shows a huge potential that will be valuable for the group.

The operational profit rose 20.7% to 2,003.6 million euro excluding BCR.

The Erste board will suggest a dividend boost from 0.55 euro to 0.65 euro pers hare at the general board meeting on May 31, 2007.

For 2007, Erste announced a profit growth target of 25% to be continued with at least 20% in 2008 and 2009.