Societe Generale 2015 net profit up almost 50%

11th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

French bank Societe Generale on Thursday reported net profits rose almost 50 percent to 4.0 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in 2015, compared to a year earlier.

The results beat analyst expectations, but France's second-largest bank warned it would fall short of its target for a 10-percent return on equity this year due to tighter regulations and a difficult economic environment.

The board expects to offer a dividend of two euros per share at the next annual general meeting in May, up from 1.20 euros last year.

The uncertain outlook sent the bank's shares plunging more than 9.0 percent to 28.43 euros at one point in early trading Thursday, on a CAC-40 that opened down more than 3 percent.

Chief executive Frederic Oudea said the rise in profits showed the bank had "successfully completed another stage in its transformation process".

"2015 was marked by good operating performances in all the businesses and the strengthening of synergies between the businesses," he said in a statement.

In November, Societe Generale announced plans to close 400 branches and cut 2,000 jobs as customers increasingly move to online banking.

© 2016 AFP

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