* The result was improved thanks to higher margin
* The difference between analysts forecasts and the result caused by one-offs
WARSAW, May 22 (Reuters) - Poland’s largest lender, PKO BP , reported a 44 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, as increased demand for mortgages allowed lenders to hike margins, while cost of deposits fell amid stable interest rates, analysts said.
The state-run bank reported a net profit of 757 million zlotys ($207.9 million) in the first three months of the year, 7 percent above the 705 million zlotys expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.
“The net result is better than consensus, because the bank earned more in its trading business. It booked 29 million zlotys on a bond sale. It also booked a 21 million zloty antimonopoly office fine return after a positive court decision,” Kamil Stolarski, an analyst with Pekao Investment Banking said.
“It seems that the share price reaction will be slightly positive, but the structure of the net profit rise won’t prompt analysts to significantly increase their forecasts, Stolarski said.
PKO’s share price fell 6.5 percent so far this year, while Warsaw bourse’s main index lost almost 7.8 percent.
“It would be positively perceived if the management board declares that the present cost of risk is maintained for a longer period,” Stolarski added.
The bank said net provisions fell 14 percent to 336 million zlotys in the first quarter.
$1 = 3.6416 zlotys Reporting by Marcin Goclowski, editing by Louise Heavens