French lender BNP Paribas (BNP.L,BNPQY.PK) Thursday reported a 32.8 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit, reflecting a goodwill writedown at its Italian branch as well as a negative impact of its own credit adjustment. However, the Group said it is aiming to improve operating efficiency in order to achieve cost savings starting in 2013 and expects to reach 2 billion euros a year as of 2015.
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, chief executive officer of the company stated, "BNP Paribas Group produced in 2012 solid results in a challenging economic environment...BNP Paribas is moreover in the process of preparing its 2014-2016 business development plan to be implemented by region and by business unit."
In the fourth quarter, net income attributable to equity holders declined to 514 million euros or $689 million from 765 million euros in the previous year.
BNP Paribas recorded 345 million euros in one-off impairments, including a 298 million-euro impairment of BNL banca commerciale or BNL bc's goodwill due to increase in the Bank of Italy's capital requirements.
Excluding one-off impairments, net income attributable to the equity holders stood at 1.05 billion euros. Operating income was 1.39 billion euros, down 6.4 percent from a year earlier.
Revenues for the quarter declined 3 percent to 9.40 billion euros from 9.69 billion euros in 2011. The company said revenues included negative impact of own credit adjustment of 286 million euros, compared to 390 million euros gain in the year-ago quarter.
Operating Divisions revenues climbed 7.3 percent from last year. Retail Banking revenues increased 2.8 percent to 6.17 billion euros. In Investment Solutions, revenues climbed 13.9 percent and Corporate and Investment Banking or CIB revenues were up 17.7 percent from the preceding year.
For the full-year 2012, the company posted net income of 6.55 billion euros, higher than 6.05 billion euros in the prior year. Net earnings per share increased to 5.16 euros from 4.82 euros per share in 2011. Annual revenues dropped 7.8 percent to 39.07 billion euros.
Further, the company said its board will propose a dividend of 1.50 euros per share, equating to a 29.7% pay-out ratio, to be paid out in cash.
In Paris, the shares are currently trading at 47.01 euros, up 2.54 percent, on a volume of 1.29 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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