© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Societe Generale is seen on the headquarters at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, France, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
PARIS (Reuters) – Societe Generale (OTC:), France’s third biggest bank, posted a higher-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, driven by a strong performance of its corporate and investment banking division as it set aside more money for failing loans.
The reported group net income for the three months ending in December came at 1.16 billion euros ($1.24 billion), beating the analyst consensus of 834 million euros provided by Visible Alpha.
SocGen’s quarterly net income was however 35% lower than the same period a year ago, as the bank’s hiked provisions for failing loans, which increased by close to fivehold to 413 millions in an uncertain economic environment.
Group revenues were up by 4% to 6.89 billion euros in the fourth quarter, also beating the Visible Alpha consensus.
The French bank, which appointed its investment banking chief Slawomir Krupa to replace company’s veteran CEO Frederic Oudea in the spring, confirmed its 2025 financial targets.
It also said it plans a 440 million-euro share buyback, on top of a cash dividend of 1.70 euro per share.
($1 = 0.9324 euros)