Commerzbank quarterly profits sink to $320 million loss amid restructuring

Commerzbank third quarter beats estimates
Focus on digitalization and efficiency in 2017: Commerzbank CFO
Shareholder feedback is positive: Commerzbank CFO

Commerzbank reported a net loss of 288 million euros ($320 million) in the third quarter on Friday, which managed to beat analyst estimates but was lower than the 235 million euro profit seen in the same period last year.

The German bank blamed the loss on "impairment on goodwill and other intangible assets" at a time when the company is undergoing a restructuring program and job losses.

"Commerzbank has a strong market position in corporate banking. We have seen further growth in retail banking and at our Polish subsidiary mBank. These are good prerequisites for the implementation of our Commerzbank 4.0 strategy, which will enable us to sustainably increase our profitability. We are pursuing our growth targets ambitiously, consistently, and forcefully," Martin Zielke, chairman of the board of managing directors at Commerzbank, said in the earnings report.

Stephan Engels, the chief financial officer of Commerzbank, told CNBC on Friday that, for the next two years, the company expects to book more restructuring charges following the announcement of its new strategy. He added that the bank would focus on digitalization and efficiency measures.

"The efficiency measures will be booked throughout 2017 and 2018," he said. "We are growing and we are currently growing our private customer segment both in Germany as well as in Poland. We have gained almost a million net new costumers over the last four years, so that makes us very much believe that we can be successful in this segment."

Commerzbank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ralph Orlowski | Reuters

The bank highlighted that operating profits had risen to 429 million euros for third quarter of 2016, compared to 351 million euros for the second quarter of this year. However, this was still a fall from 452 million euros seen in the third quarter last year.

It also reported that its capital ratio increased to 11.8 percent in the last three months, rising from 11.5 percent in the second quarter. This is known as the CET 1 ratio which is a measurement of the bank's core equity capital compared with its total risk-weighted assets. Shares were down nearly 2 percent as the European session opened on Friday.