(Adds detail, shares)
MOSCOW May 15 Russia's second-largest bank VTB
beat analysts' forecasts in the first quarter with net
profit of 27.6 billion roubles ($488.37 million) and said it was
on track to deliver a doubling of its net profit this year.
VTB, like several other large Russian state lenders, is
under Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine
It has seen its financial performance recover in recent
quarters as the Russian economy is gradually emerging from a
deep slump linked to weak oil prices.
Analysts had predicted VTB would earn 23.3 billion roubles
in the first three months of the year, versus profit of just 0.6
billion roubles in the first quarter of last year.
Net interest income rose 15 percent from the first quarter
of 2016 to 113 billion roubles, while costs grew 1.7 percent to
61.6 billion roubles.
The bank's provision charge was at 45.9 billion roubles in
the first quarter, versus 40.6 billion roubles a year earlier.
Andrey Kostin, VTB CEO, said in a statement: "We are firmly
on track to deliver our full-year targets and to achieve the
goals stipulated in the 2017-2019 strategy".
One of the key points of that strategy is to achieve net
profit of 100 billion roubles this year, after profit of around
52 billion roubles in 2016.
VTB's shares had risen 0.7 percent by 0803 GMT,
outperforming the broader MICEX index which was flat.
($1 = 56.5140 roubles)
(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Christian Lowe)