SWEDEN - Results from Swedish financial services group Nordea, a major player in the custody market, were bruised last year but posted some improvements in fourth quarter figures.
The firm registered a 21% drop in operating profits in 2001 to EUR1,028m, versus EUR2,435m in 2000. The firm blamed higher investment earnings in 2000 as a result of particularly strong capital markets that year.
Operating profit in Q4 2001 amounted to EUR468m, more than doubling on the third quarter. The increase was mainly due to improvements in investment earnings following the recovery in Nordic and international equity markets, said Nordea.
Total income was at the same level as in the previous quarter, characterised by a stable development in net interest income, increased commission income and reduced income from insurance. But total expenses increased for the firm, resulting from a higher level of activity than in Q3, 2001, and December’s acquisition of Postgirot Bank.
For the full year, profits stayed flat at EUR1,923m. Total income and expenses increased by 15% and 17%. But net profit drooped to EUR1,568m from EUR 1,733m in 2000.
Nordea was buoyed by high demand for credit from institutional and private clients. Total lending increased by 3%, reflecting a strengthening of the Swedish kroner.
*Nordea Bank Norway, which was acquired in December 2000, is not included in the figures for 2000.
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