Rabobank Group has reported a net profit of E1.52 billion for the first half of 2008, representing an increase of 12% compared to the net profit generated in the first half of 2007.

In the first half of 2008, interest income was 19% higher than in the same period of 2007. According to Rabobank, this reflects, to a large extent, the positive effect of the credit crisis on the bank’s interest margin.

Operating expenses for the first six-month period fell 1% to E3.84 billion. Gross profit for the period was E2.2 billion on balance, up 24% on the first half of 2007.

Bert Heemskerk, CEO of Rabobank, said: We exceeded our financial targets despite the difficult situation on the financial markets. Profit continued to rise and returns remained stable. The effects of the persistent turmoil on the financial markets, which caused net profit to drop by E529 million, were partially offset by higher interest income and also by exceptional income thanks to sale of Alex and consolidation of BGZ.