Consolidated profit of € 571 millionPositive NII and net fee and commission income development (year-on-year up 8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, adjusted for revenues from Polish core banking operations sold in 2018)Net trading income impacted by fair value result on hedges and on liabilities which neutralize over lifetime of portfoliosLoans to customers up 9 per cent YTD mainly at head office, in Russia and Central EuropeNet interest margin slightly lower year-on-year reflecting higher volumes of short-term business at head office and lower margins in RussiaRisk costs remain low (€ 12 million)NPE ratio further improved to 2.3 per centCET1 ratio increased to 13.8 per cent including YTD results In the first half of 2019, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) generated a consolidated profit of € 571 million.“Customer loans grew by 9 per cent, especially in Austria, Russia and Central Europe, in the first half of 2019. Despite the low interest rate environment, net interest income and net fee and commission income developed very positively, and risk costs remained at a very low level,” said CEO Johann Strobl.Overall, net interest income rose slightly by € 2 million to € 1,664 million. The net interest margin declined 7 basis points to 2.42 per cent, mainly due to growth in low-margin business at head office and to margin developments in Russia and Belarus.General administrative expenses increased € 3 million year-on-year to € 1,497 million. The cost/income ratio increased 4.8 percentage points to 60.7 per cent. Moderate impairment losses on financial assetsImpairment losses on financial assets remained low in the reporting period at € 12 million, compared to an € 83 million net release of loan loss provisions – mainly due to inflows and recoveries – in the comparable period of the previous year.The NPE ratio decreased 0.3 percentage points since the start of the year to 2.3 per cent. The NPE coverage ratio improved 0.7 percentage points to 59.0 per cent. Total capital ratio (fully loaded) at 17.8 per centThe common equity tier 1 ratio (fully loaded) was 13.8 per cent, the tier 1 ratio (fully loaded) was 15.3 per cent (up 0.4 percentage points each) and the total capital ratio (fully loaded) was 17.8 per cent (down 0.3 percentage points). Quarterly comparisonNet interest income was up 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter, or € 15 million, to € 840 million, reflecting a € 14 million volume-related rise in Russia. In Ukraine higher volumes of loans to non-financial corporations and households also generated a € 4 million increase in net interest income; whereas in Hungary, lower interest income from derivatives resulted in a € 3 million decrease. The net interest margin declined 2 basis points to 2.40 per cent due to an increase in the volume of mainly short-term, low-margin business at head office.General administrative expenses amounted to € 773 million in the second quarter of 2019, a € 49 million increase compared to the previous quarter.In the second quarter of 2019, impairment losses on financial assets amounted to € 2 million, compared to € 9 million in the previous quarter.Consolidated profit improved € 119 million to € 345 million, mainly reflecting the € 97 million reduction in expenses for levies and special governmental measures, the majority of which must be posted in their entirety in the first quarter. OutlookRBI will pursue loan growth with an average yearly percentage increase in the mid-single digit area.The provisioning ratio for FY 2019 is expected to be below 45 basis points.The bank anticipates that the NPE ratio will further reduce.RBI aims to achieve a cost/income ratio of around 55 per cent in 2021.In the coming years the bank targets a consolidated return on equity of approximately 11 per cent.It seeks to maintain a CET1 ratio of around 13 per cent in the medium term.Based on this target, RBI intends to distribute between 20 and 50 per cent of the consolidated profit.