The Bundesbank, Germany's Central Bank, announced in Frankfurt on Wednesday that its profits for 2003 plunged to €248 million from €5.234 billion the previous year. The sharp fall in profits by € 5 billion amounts to one of the weakest showings in the bank's financial history. The Bundesbank blamed the weak dollar and low interest rates for the fiasco. The stark decline in the Bundesbank's profits is likely to mean a substantial cash shortfall for the German government. The Bundesbank transfers most of its annual profits to the government and Berlin had been penciling in around €3.5 billion for last year. However German Finance Minister Hans Eichel put a brave face on the debacle Wednesday and said Berlin would manage to plug the gap without running up more debt.