Credit Agricole profit soars beating expectations … MARKETWATCH
Credit Agricole profit soars beating expectations
By Pietro Lombardi
Credit Agricole SA’s fourth-quarter net profit rose substantially, supported by higher revenue and lower tax expense, beating analysts’ expectations.
Net profit for the period was 1.01 billion euros ($1.14 billion) compared with EUR387 million a year earlier, the bank said Thursday. In the final quarter of 2017 the results
were hit by exceptional charges related to tax.
Revenue for the quarter increased 4.3% on year to EUR4.85 billion while tax expense fell 68%.
The profit result beat analysts’ expectations of EUR886 million, according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet.
On an underlying basis, which excludes exceptional items, net profit rose almost 22%.
The results were achieved “despite a much less favorable environment than in fourth quarter 2017 and in the first three quarters of 2018, especially for activities related to capital markets, and in particular
for asset- and wealth-management and for capital markets and investment banking,” the bank said.
“These are the only business lines that saw their contribution decline from fourth quarter 2017,” it added.
Amundi’s revenue for the quarter declined 18% on year while the capital-markets and investment-banking operations reported a 29% decline in revenue.
For the full year, the French bank reported a 21% increase in net profit to EUR4.40 billion.
Credit Agricole’s core Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of capital strength, was stable at 11.5% in December.
“In 2018, Credit Agricole SA’s business lines surpassed the main objectives of the medium-term plan one year ahead of schedule,” Chief Executive Philippe Brassac said.
The bank’s medium-term plan was presented in 2016 and set financial targets until 2019. Credit Agricole will present a new plan through 2022 in June.
The French bank said it would pay a cash dividend of EUR0.69 per share, a 9.5% increase from the previous year.