STOCKHOLM, April 25 (Reuters) - Swedish banking group Swedbank posted a 20 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit that beat market expectations as macroeconomic conditions continued to improve both at home and abroad.
“Growth is broad-based in our home markets with a positive outlook,” Swedbank CEO Birgitte Bonnesen said in a statement on Tuesday. “Domestic spending is strong and exports are increasing in the wake of more robust global economic conditions.”
Operating profit rose to 6.31 billion crowns ($712 million) from 5.28 billion crowns a year earlier and higher than a forecast of 6.11 billion crowns in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Net interest income, boosted by higher lending volumes and margins on Swedish mortgages, rose to 5.97 billion crowns from 5.46 billion crowns a year earlier and higher than a forecast 5.90 billion crowns.
Net commission income rose to 2.82 billion crowns from 2.65 billion crowns a year earlier and a tad lower than a forecast 2.84 billion crowns. Provisions in oil related sectors rose and losses from loans increased to 339 million crowns from 35 million crowns a year ago. While higher, it was still better than the 428 million crowns loss expected by analysts.
Swedbank said it expected total expenses for 2017 to be 15.8 billion crowns. ($1 = 8.8663 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard and Subhranshu Sahu)