MILAN, May 5 (Reuters) - Italy's top retail bank beat analyst forecasts with a first-quarter net profit of 901 million euros ($987 million) thanks to a 10 percent growth in fees.
The bank said profit over the period was more than enough to sustain its dividend payout goal of 3.4 billion euros over 2017 results. The figure compares with an analyst consensus forecast of 770 million euros.
The bank's core capital ratio, a key measure of financial strength, stood at 12.5 percent on a transitional basis, down from 12.9 percent at the end of December but still one of the highest in Italy. ($1 = 0.9125 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Francesca Landini)