Swedbank profits up on the year

Swedish bank Swedbank has reported first-quarter net profits of 2.91 billion kronor ($430 million), a 28 percent increase on the same period in 2006.

The bank, formerly Föreningssparbanken, has major operations in Sweden and the Baltics. It attributed the rise in profits to positive developments in its Swedish Banking, Baltic Banking and Swedbank Markets divisions.

Net profit was stable compared to the fourth quarter 2006.

“2007 has begun positively for Swedbank. Net interest income increased for the fourth consecutive quarter at the same time that net commissions remained strong,” said CEO Jan Lidén in a statement.

Lidén added that concerns about an overheating economy in the Baltics were having an effect on the bank.

“This has led to signs of a slowdown in lending growth in the region. Our judgment of the development in the Baltics is continued positive.”

The company added that the takeover of TAS-Kommerzbank of Ukraine was expected to be complete during the third quarter.