Belgium financial services provider Fortis has reported a net profit of E1.17 billion for the first quarter of the fiscal year, down 12% from E1.33 billion in Q1 2006.

The group posted a 24% drop in its retail banking business to E286 million from E351 million, while overall profit in its banking division, including merchant and private banking, declined 15% to E903 million. This was below the E905 million mark that analysts had predicted, Bloomberg reports.

Fortis, which is currently engaged in the ABN Amro takeover war, did however report a 4% increase in profits in its insurance business to E352 million. Its life gross inflows saw a 40% rise to E3.9 billion due to strong sales in Belgium and the Netherlands, while non-life gross written premiums increased 12% to E1.8 billion, driven by all regions and product classes.

According to Bloomberg, shares of the bank dropped 3.2% to E32.30 per share as at May 11, 2007, giving the group a market value of approximately E4.2 billion.