SEB in record year

Swedish bank SEB experienced a record year in 2006, with operating profits increasing by 39 percent to 15.5 billion kronor. Fourth quarter operating profits were 4.1 billion kronor, up 21 percent.

The bank’s operating income rose 13 percent to 38.7 billion kronor. Costs rose 2 percent to 22.5 billion. Announcing the results, the board proposed a dividend of 6 kronor per share, up from 4.75 kronor last year.

The result is the best ever achieved by the bank, and beat analysts’ expectations.

“The efforts to improve productivity and establish a more competitive long-term cost-base are gradually yielding result,” said the bank’s president, Annika Falkenberg.

The Wallenberg family’s holding company Investor is a major shareholder in SEB, one of the largest banks in the Nordic region.