- BGEO Group's pre-tax profits for the first nine months of the year rose by 24.1% to GEL364,463,000 despite third quarter figures being 18.1% down on a year ago at GEL123,029,000.

Banking business revenues rose by 18.1% in the first nine months to GEL649,023,000m and investment business revenues jumped by 89.0% to GEL316,137,000.

The group said: 'The Georgian economy has delivered strong growth in 9M17 by expanding 4.7%, primarily driven by strong external demand and strengthened local consumer and business confidence. Exports increased 28.3% y-o-y, while tourism revenues increased to $2.2bln in 9M17 (up 28.5% y-o-y), reaching the 2016 full-year level, as a result of the unprecedented tourist inflows in 3Q17.

'Remittances also increased by 19.7% y-o-y in 9M17.

'Progress in structural reforms were acknowledged by the IMF team, following the first review under the current IMF program, and by Moody's, when it signalled confidence in the Georgian economy in September 2017 by upgrading Georgia's sovereign credit rating to Ba2 from Ba3, two notches below investment grade.

'Additionally, the World Bank also recognised Georgia's progress by ranking Georgia in 9th place globally within their Doing Business 2018 report.

'Georgia's ranking was the highest in the Europe and Central Asia region.'

At 8:16am: [LON:BGEO] BGEO Group share price was -8p at 3606p

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