By Dominic Chopping 
 

STOCKHOLM--Swedbank AB on Monday reported a forecast-beating net profit for the fourth quarter and proposed dividend payouts for 2019 and 2020.

The Swedish bank said that, after consultation with the country's Financial Supervisory Authority, it is proposing a dividend corresponding to 25% of net profit for both the 2019 and 2020 financial year. This equates to a dividend of 4.35 Swedish kronor ($0.52) a share for 2019 and SEK2.90 for 2020.

The bank booked SEK523 million of credit-impairment provisions in the quarter, lower than the SEK651 million expected in a FactSet poll.

Swedbank said it will establish a new Baltic subsidiary that will become owner of the current subsidiary banks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to increase accountability and responsibility of the Baltic banking management. The move is aimed to complement its action plan to remedy money-laundering shortcomings and will strengthen governance of the Baltic operations.

The Swedbank CEO will be chairman of the supervisory board of the new holding company, while the head of Baltic banking will be the CEO, the company said.

The bank reported a quarterly net profit of SEK4.51 billion, from SEK4.43 billion a year earlier, while net interest income rose 2.5% to SEK6.57 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected net profit of SEK4.11 billion with net interest income of SEK6.67 billion.

The bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio--a measure of financial strength--was 17.5%, compared with 17.0% in the year-earlier quarter.

 

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 01, 2021 02:02 ET (07:02 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.