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Commerzbank reports Q2 loss as restructuring bites

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Germany’s second-largest lender Commerzbank reported a net loss for the second quarter Wednesday as restructuring costs hit, but said it still expects to make a profit over the full year.

The Frankfurt-based group booked a net loss of 637 million euros ($753 million) between April and June, compared with a net profit of 215 million in the same period last year.

Commerzbank loaded some 807 million euros of costs linked to job cuts onto the second-quarter result, part of its strategy for a “digital transformation” that will modernise its operations.

Meanwhile, operating, or underlying profits stood at 183 million euros, on the back of almost 2.1 billion in revenue.

Over the rest of the year, the group aims to continue implementing the plan it has dubbed “Commerzbank 4.0”.

It aims to digitise around 80 percent of internal processes in the coming three years, open an online platform for consumer credit, and deepen its relationships with the “FinTech” (financial technology) sector of fast-moving internet startups.

“In our two transformational years 2017 and 2018, we are laying the foundations for a sustainably higher profitability,” chief executive Martin Zielke said in a statement.

For 2017, Commerzbank aims for a “slightly positive” net result, which will be boosted by some 390 million euros it expects to make in the second quarter from selling off some assets and revaluing other holdings.

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