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SEB posts bumper profits

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17:24 CEST+02:00
Swedish bank SEB exceeded market expectations on Wednesday as it posted a first quarter operating profit of 1.075 billion kronor ($147 million), more than double the figure forecast by analysts.

SEB's interim report showed operating profits down from 1.802 billion kronor for the same period last year, but the first quarter total far outstripped the 462 million kronor forecast in analyses collated by news agency Reuters.

"SEB has recorded a solid result given the slowly recovering macro-economic climate. With the fortress balance sheet created last year we can continue to further deepen our customer relationships and invest in our strong corporate franchise", said CEO Annika Falkengren in a statement.

SEB's operating income came to 9.372 billion kronor, down 18 percent on the first quarter 2009.

Operating expenses for the bank totalled 6.367 billion kronor, while provision for credit losses amounted to 1.926 billion kronor

Falkengren said the report showed the bank was returning to normal after the financial crisis.

"It was a quarter without any one-off effects. It feels good. We're clearly showing that we can see a glimmer of light in the Baltics," she told news agency TT.

SEB halved its credit losses in the region, which was hit hard by the global financial meltdown.

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