Dutch bank ING returns to profit, cautions vigilance
Dutch bank and insurance group ING reported Wednesday a return to profit in the first quarter but counselled vigilance amid what it said were volatile markets and a potentially fragile economic recovery.
Net profit increased to 1.33 billion euros (1.68 billion dollars) in the first quarter of 2010, up from a loss of 793 million euros recorded in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.
This result, due to higher insurance sales and savings volumes, was better than a profit of 930 million euros predicted by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
"The results to date are clearly encouraging," ING chief executive officer Jan Hommen said in a statement.
"We will work hard to build on these successes in the coming quarters, but we must remain vigilant as markets are still volatile and the economic recovery could prove fragile, as we have seen in recent weeks with severe market volatility amid concerns about sovereign risk."
ING said its underlying net profit improved to 1,02 billion euros in the first quarter, compared to a 236-million-euro loss in the same period last year.
© 2010 AFP