French consumer-to-corporate banking group Societe Generale saw its Q2 revenues rise and first half earnings per share increase by more than a quarter following strong showings in its investment banking and international retail banking operations.

The bank highlighted its expansion in retail banking in emerging markets such as Serbia, Romania and the Czech Republic, where it has opened some 300 branches over the past year. It has also recently bought a Croatian bank and a 10% share in a Russian lender.

Net income for this division was E108 million in Q2 2006, up from E96 million a year earlier. Profit for its French banking division grew even more strongly, reaching E354 million from E226 million in Q2 2005. Societe Generale said robust demand for investments and loans from business customers was one of the key growth drivers in its domestic market.

Quarterly earnings at the private banking arm meanwhile grew by 47% to E44 million, while the asset management operation saw net income rise from E62 million to E69 million over the year.