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BNP Paribas Group: Results as at 31 December 2004

Sustained growth in business
Net banking income: 18,823 million euros (+ 5.0%)

Fresh rise in profitability
Net income group share: 4,668 million euros (+ 24.1%)
After-tax ROE: 16.8% (+ 2.5 pts)

Earnings per share: 5.55 euros (+ 28.8%)
Dividend increased from 1.45 to 2.00 euros (+ 37.9%)

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In 2004, the Group had sharply higher operating performances:

- Net banking income: 18,823 million euros (+5.0%)
- Gross operating income: 7,231 million euros (+8.7%)
- Cost/income ratio improved 1.3 points at 61.6%
- Operating income: 6,553 million euros (+23.9%)

Fresh rise in profitability:
- Net income, group share: 4,668 million euros (+24.1%)
- After-tax return on equity: 16.8% (+2.5 pts)

Each of the Group's core businesses contributed to this performance:

- Thanks to the significant commercial drive of its two core businesses, Retail Banking posted sustained growth in the business and in its results (2,981 million euros in pretax income, + 12.6%)

- Taking advantage of the inclusion of real estate services and owing to the performances of all the business lines involved in gathering and managing financial assets, the Asset Management and Services (AMS) core business posted substantial results (993 million euros in pre-tax income, + 37.3%)

- The Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) core business posted record results (2,448 million euros in pre-tax income, + 30.3%) with exceptionally low provisions

A dividend of 2.00 euros per share, up 37.9%, will be proposed to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

On 2 February 2005, the Board of Directors of BNP Paribas, in a meeting chaired by Michel Pébereau, approved the accounts for the 2004 fiscal year.


In 2004, global economic growth was particularly sustained, even though its pace remained limited in Europe, and this environment helped push up corporate earnings and reduce the overall number of corporate failures. Capital markets, bullish in the beginning of the year, remained hesitant thereafter, with uneven trading volumes and a historically low volatility. The dollar continued its fall against the euro, thus continuing to handicap European companies that do business in the United States.

In this context, on the whole positive for banking services, BNP Paribas posted results that were up sharply. The Group's net banking income rose 5.0% to 18,823 million euros; operating expenses and depreciation were strictly contained at 11,592 million euros, up 2.7%. The gross operating income thus grew 8.7% to 7,231 million euros and the cost/income ratio improved 1.3 points, falling from 62.9% to 61.6%.

Provisions, totalling 678 million euros, were down 50.2% and operating income soared 23.9% to 6,553 million euros.

Non-operating items contributed 352 million euros, up 18.5% compared to 2003. This increase was due to sharp rise in income from associated companies, 194 million euros, up 48.1%, and the decline in one-time charges. These charges included, however, in the fourth quarter a single 152 million euro payment, enabling once and for all the Group's employee-managed health scheme to cover all the health insurance commitments relating to retirees and, with regard to the IAS/IFRS accounting standards, to be considered a defined contribution plan.

The tax expense rose 23.6% to 1,830 million euros and the share of minority interests 18.3% to 407 million euros.

The net income group share, 4,668 million euros, was up 24.1% and the return on equity after tax was up 16.8%. Net earnings per share(1) came to 5.55 euros.

The Board of Directors will propose to shareholders at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to pay a 2.00 euro dividend, or a 37.9% increase year-on-year.

After the dividend payment, net assets per share(1), before revaluation, comes to 34 euros.

(1) Excluding shares held by the Group.