Societe Generale profits outstrip expectations, shares soar

4th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

French bank Societe Generale posted stronger-than-expected profits Wednesday, sending its shares sharply higher.

Like its domestic rival BNP Paribas which reported its earnings a day earlier, Societe Generale benefited from strong income from French and international retail banking and fewer loans going bad, but investment banking suffered from an adverse market environment.

Exceptional items, mostly a revision of the value of Societe Generale's liabilities, helped boost net profit.

Societe Generale's net profit rose 6.5 percent to 924 million euros ($1.1 billion), against analysts' expectations centring on 884 million euros.

Once exceptional items were stripped out, net profit slipped 0.5 percent.

The bank's shares soared 3.7 percent in early business on the Paris stock exchange, where the CAC 40 index was flat overall.

Societe Generale chief executive Frederic Oudea said the group had "generated sound results" in an environment which was more challenging than a year ago.

The French bank said it would continue slashing costs in its global banking and investment businesses, where it was looking to save more than 200 million euros by the end of next year, in addition to the 850 million it is targeting in a current cost-cutting drive.

© 2016 AFP

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