Société Générale posts small quarterly profit despite exceptional charges

Bank has said it will close 15% of its branch network and cut 900 jobs in France by 2020

Net income at the French bank fell sharply to €69m in the fourth quarter, down 82% over the previous year

Société Générale eked out a small profit in the fourth quarter, beating expectations of a loss driven by exceptional items, as the bank presented its first set of results since setting out its new business plan.

The French lender’s net income fell sharply to €69 million in the fourth quarter, down 82 per cent over the previous year. However, analysts had expected a loss of €300 million, according to Reuters data. Revenue came in at €6.32 billion, again beating expectations.

Adjusting for various one-off charges, Deutsche Bank analysts calculated an adjusted pretax profit of €1.5 billion versus consensus estimates of €1.25 billion.

“We are starting 2018 with confidence, sustained by the ambition to seize the growth opportunities of our activities in an economic and financial environment that should gradually be more favourable,” said Frédéric Oudéa, chief executive.

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In November, as part of its strategic plan, SocGen said it would close 15 per cent of its branch network and cut up to 900 jobs in France by 2020 as the bank looks to cut costs and accelerate its move into digital banking. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018