Nordea tops estimates with soaring profit

Nordea tops estimates with soaring profit
Nordic bank Nordea recorded a 15-percent hike in net profit for 2010 and a 72-percent jump in the fourth quarter, boosted by Sweden's strong economic recovery.

For 2010, Nordic posted a net profit of €2.66 billion ($3.68 billion), up from €2.31 billion a year earlier, despite a 2 percent drop in its net banking income to €5.16 billion.

From October to December, the bank posted a net profit of €769 million, up from €448 million a year earlier, on a net banking income increase of 5 percent to €1.37 billion.

The fourth quarter results were above the expectations of analysts polled by the Dow Jones Newswires, who had predicted a 58 percent net profit jump to €705.3 billion, while the net banking income for the three-month period was in line with expectations.

Nordea said it planned to raise its dividend to €0.29 per share from €0.25 a year earlier.

The good results were largely expected amid rising interest rates in Sweden and the Scandinavian country’s strong economic recovery, with its gross domestic product expected to swell more than six percent this year.

Nordea, which counts some 11 million clients, is the largest bank in Sweden and in the entire Nordic region.

Following Wednesday’s news, Nordea say its stock price increase 0.44 percent to 79.85 kronor ($12.52) a share in morning trading on a Stockholm stock exchange down 0.34 percent.

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