SocGen bank reports profit plunge, blames charges

November 08, 2012 - 11:28:02 am
PARIS: French bank SocieteGenerale reported an 86.3-percent plunge in net profit in the third quarter on Thursday to 85 million euros ($108.6 million), blaming exceptional items but doing better than analysts had expected.


The results were hit by a charge of 389 million euros arising from a revaluation of its loan risks and for losses from the divestment of subsidiaries.


These divestment charges were 130 million euros for Greek subsidiary Geniki and 92 million euros for US unit TCW.


Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a net figure for the quarter of 75 million euros.


The bank said that before allowing for exceptional items, the net result was 856 million euros.


Net banking income, a key measure of performance of a bank reflecting the difference between the cost of taking in money and the price of lending it out, fell by 17.0 percent to 5.40 billion euros. Analysts had expected 5.43 billion euros.


The bank said that with regard to a programme to reduce the size of its balance sheet, it had completed the sale of instruments by its financing and investment arm, with a total of 16 billion euros' worth of assets sold since June 2011.


At the end of September the ratio of core capital to risks underwritten was 10.3 percent, an increase of 0.39 percentage points in three months.


It stood by its target of a capital ratio of 9.0-9.5 percent at the end of 2013, under the new so-called Basel III banking standards which come fully into effect at the end of 2018.


Chief executive Frederic Oudea said: "SocieteGenerale has completed a new stage in its process of change, marked particularly by the success of its plan to adapt the bank for financing and investment and the programme for disposing of assets."


The retail banking arm in France had experienced a slowing of activity which reflected the still gloomy economic climate, the bank said. (AFP)