Friday, May 21, 1999

Provident agog over earnings




BY JEFF McKINNEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Higher-than-expected growth from its retail banking and mortgage operations could help Provident Financial Group Inc. top its earnings outlook for 1999, the company's top executive said Thursday.

        The company is on track to meet or beat its 15 percent growth projection in annual share earnings, Robert L. Hoverson, president and chief executive officer, told shareholders at the Cincinnati bank's annual meeting.

        He said that based on first-quarter results, revenue from retail banking and non-conforming mortgage units — combined with expense control — could help Provident Bank's parent beat its goals.

        His remarks came four months after the bank began its biggest restructuring ever and posted an 8 percent gain in 1998 profits, a level Mr. Hoverson said was unacceptable.

       



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