Societe Generale nearly triples profits

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Societe Generale REUTERS The logo of French bank Societe Generale is seen at the entrance of its headquarters in La Defense, outside Paris, January 30, 2008.

Paris - France's second-biggest bank Societe Generale nearly tripled its profits in 2013, helped by higher earnings in both its retail and corporate and investment banking units, the group said Wednesday.

Net income shot up to 2.2 billion euros (3 billion dollars), from 774 million euros in 2012.

Group revenues were up 4.3 per cent to 22.8 billion euros.

Societe Generale ended the year on a high note, with fourth-quarter profits of 322 million euros far exceeding analysts' expectations.

Chief executive Frederic Oudea said 2013 “provided confirmation of the robustness of Societe Generale's universal banking model, with revenue growth in a still challenging environment.”

The bank has rebounded from several shocks since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, from the nearly 5 billion euros in losses chalked up by rogue trader Jerome Kerviel to heavy losses on its Greek debt holdings and a fine of 446 million euros imposed by the European Union for rate-rigging.

Oudea said Societe Generale was now on sounder financial footing after completely overhauling its balance sheet to boost the share of its top-quality capital to 10 per cent. - Sapa-dpa

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