Swedbank bounces back into the black

Swedbank bounces back into the black
Swedish bank Swedbank surprised analysts on Tuesday with 2010 figures showing that the country's fourth largest bank was back in profit.

Operating profits of 3.44 billion kronor ($540 million) were posted in the fourth quarter, up from a loss of 1.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2009, and helping to push full year profits into the black.

“We expected a gradually rising profit trend. In fact, we now see that profit for the full-year was stronger than anticipated, largely thanks to the recovery in the Baltic countries,” CEO Michael Wolf said in a statement.

Net interest income rose in the quarter to 4.53 billion kronor (3.98 billion) with profit before impairments excluding non-recurring items decreasing by 2 percent to 3.33 billion kronor (3.41).

Total revenues amounted to 7.96 billion for the quarter (7.98 billion) with costs up to 4.59 billion kronor from 4.3 billion kronor

The result for the full year was 7.44 billion (-10.51). Net interest income decreased by 21 percent to 16.33 billion (20.77 billion).

Provisions for loan losses amounted to 1.41 billion (21.80 billion) for the year.

The bank stated that in the Baltics, Russia and Ukraine recoveries were greater than the credit losses in the quarter. In the Baltic banking operations recorded net recoveries of 163 million. In Russia and Ukraine net recoveries amounted to 521 million.

The bank announced that its plans to buy back 10 percent of its stock and forecast a gradual improvement in earnings throughout 2011.

Swedbank’s stock climbed on the report and had by 4pm settled around 5 percent up in Stockholm trading.

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