August 12, 2015 / 12:44 PM / 2 years ago

Georgia's TBC Bank reports 39 pct rise in first-half profit

TBILISI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Georgia's largest retail lender TBC Bank reported a 38.9 percent jump in first-half profit, beating sluggish economic growth in the country.

The bank, which raised around $640 million through an initial public offering of global depositary receipts in London last June, reported a net profit of 101.2 million lari ($44.4 million) in the first half of this year, up from 72.9 million lari in the same period last year.

Pretax profit rose to 115.8 lari from 84.4 million lari in January to June 2014, while net interest income rose by 23 percent to 198.2 million lari from 161 million lari.

The bank reported a net interest margin rise of 8 percent compared with 8.6 percent a year earlier.

"It was particularly pleasing that these results have been achieved during a period of moderate economic growth as well as the challenges of currency depreciation," TBC Chief Executive Vakhtang Butskhrikidze said in a statement.

Georgia's economic growth slowed to 2.6 percent in the first half of this year compared with 6 percent in the same period last year, hurt by the depreciation of the Georgian lari against the dollar, slowing tourism and a decline in exports and remittances.

$1 = 2.28 lari Reporting by Margarita Antidze, editing by Louise Heavens

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