- Bank of Cyprus said Monday its CEO would step down in September this year as the bank posted narrower pre-tax losses Monday even as revenue slipped as the bank accelerated efforts to shore up its balance sheet.

For the year ended 31 December, losses before taxes narrowed to €34.8m from €479.2m and turnover decreased to €984.7m from €1.1bn a year earlier.

Total income fell to €781m for the year, from €861m a year earlier, and operating profit slipped to €381m from €479m a year earlier.

Profit after tax arising from the organic operations of the group for 2018 amounted to €140m, compared to a loss of €490m a year earlier.

The company said it would continue to explore a 'number of f alternatives' to accelerate de-risking, including further disposals of NPEs and other non-core assets, as it sought to shore up its balance sheet.

The bank agreed to sell €2.7bn of NPEs (Project Helix); with completion scheduled around the end of 1Q / beginning 2Q 2019.

'Balance sheet repair was accelerated through the agreement for the sale of c.€2.7 bn non-performing loans in Project Helix,' the company said. ;We have made good progress towards completion, including syndicating down the Bank's participation in the senior debt to €50 mn from the initial level of €450 mn and in so doing, significantly de-risking the Bank's residual exposure to the portfolio sold.'

'This portfolio sale complements our organic non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction, which amounted to €1.3 bn for the full year. During the fourth quarter, we reduced NPEs by €217 mn, broadly in line with the guidance, marking our fifteenth consecutive quarter of organic reductions in NPEs.'

'The Bank is well capitalised. As at 31 December 2018 the CET1 ratio (transitional) was 15.4% and the Total Capital ratio was 18.3%, both pro forma for DTC and Helix (12.1% and 14.9% as reported, respectively).'

'Following the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) performed by the ECB in 2018, based on the pre-notifications received, we expect the SREP requirements to remain unchanged, when ignoring the phasing-in of the Capital Conservation Buffer and the Other Systemically Important Institution Buffer.'

At 8:29am: [LON:BOCH] Bank Of Cyprus Holdings share price was +0.12p at 1.42p

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