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Handelsbanken ups dividend as profits slump

AFP/The Local · 18 Feb 2010, 11:31

Published: 18 Feb 2010 11:31 GMT+01:00

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Net profit fell by 45 percent in the last quarter of 2009 on the equivalent figure in 2008 to 2.52 billion kronor ($348 million) from 4.55 billion kronor 12 months earlier.

But generally the figures for the quarter were better than analysts had forecast mainly because loan losses were far lower than figures reported by Swedish competitors.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a net profit of 2.27 billion kronor.

For the whole of 2009, net profit fell by 16.0 percent to 10.24 billion kronor, and loan losses more than doubled to 3.40 billion kronor.

Handelsbanken is the second-biggest Swedish bank by capitalisation, and the only big Swedish bank to have improved its results in the first half of the year.

This was mainly because it has little exposure to Baltic countries which have been severely affected by the global economic crisis, in contrast to competitor banks Nordea, SEB and Swedbank which have taken big losses in the region.

Losses on lending activities fell by 1.0 percent to 691 million kronor, although the analysts polled had expected these losses to rise to 1.25 billion kronor.

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In the third quarter, the bank had reported a 14.0-percent fall in net profit owing to bad loans caused by the economic crisis.

Shares in the bank were showing a slight rise of 0.1 percent to 191.70 kronor in early trading. The overall Swedish market showed a gain of 0.07 percent.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:05 February 19, 2010 by krattan
Handelsbanken seems to have faired better than other banks during all the last three economical chrises in the 90s, 2001 and 2009. Banks that cannot manage their own cash flow should hardly be trusted with mine. I will almost certainly switch to Handelsbanken next time I move to Sweden.
12:30 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
Yeah handelsbanken didn't engage in risky lending to Eastern European countries like Swedbank and SEB did (then requiring taxpayer guarantees and rescue plans).

Everyone should move their money to safer banks which don't require government help on a regular basis.
19:10 February 20, 2010 by morchad
Cool, going to handelsbanken for a mortgage on Tuesday
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