Nordea beats expectations in strong third quarter

Nordic banking group Nordea posted Thursday a 13 percent rise in third quarter net profit to €761 million ($1.08 billion dollars), beating analysts' forecasts amid strong business volumes.

Nordea’s total operating income rose to €1.91 billion, up 10 percent from the same quarter a year ago and exceeding analysts expectations of 1.87 billion.

“Nordea’s organic growth strategy consistently delivers strong results. Total income and the number of customers in prioritized segments as well as business volumes continue to increase according to our growth plans,” Nordea chief executive Christian Clausen said in a statement.

He said the strategy “consistently pays off”, even during the recent turbulence on financial markets.

“Despite this remaining uncertainty, Nordea confirms its financial outlook for the full year 2007,” he added.

Clausen said the “gap between growth in income and costs continues to meet our expectations and there is therefore no change in the full-year outlook.”

He said he expected the gap to be around two to three percentage points.

Total operating expenses rose by seven percent in the third quarter, for a total of €2.99 billion for the January-September period.

Nordea said it expected expenses to grow by around six percent for the full year.

The Nordea share was up by 1.50 percent at 108 kronor in midday trade on

the Stockholm stock exchange.