By Mauro Orru
Societe Generale SA posted profit ahead of expectations on higher revenue in the third quarter, and replaced its chief financial officer as it prepares to launch a buyback program.
The French bank said Thursday that net profit climbed to 1.60 billion euros ($1.86 billion) from EUR862 million in the third quarter last year, with underlying profit up to EUR1.39 billion from EUR742 million.
Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast a net profit of EUR1.04 billion, with an underlying profit of EUR989 million.
Net banking income, the bank’s revenue metric, rose to EUR6.67 billion from EUR5.81 billion, surpassing analysts’ forecasts of roughly EUR5.88 billion.
The bank benefited from growth in all businesses, with very strong momentum in financial services and financing and advisory, and continued growth in retail banking.
Societe Generale set aside EUR196 million in provisions for bad loans in the third quarter, down from EUR518 million last year when banks were bracing for potentially huge losses on loans to consumers and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Societe Generale group enjoyed an excellent quarter, with strong commercial and financial performances in all the businesses and improvement of the cost-income ratio. The group also continued to benefit from the quality of its loan portfolio, with a low cost of risk combined with a continued very prudent provisioning policy,” said Chief Executive Frederic Oudea.
The bank appointed Claire Dumas as chief financial officer starting Dec. 1, as William Kadouch-Chassaing opted to pursue opportunities outside the banking sector.
Societe Generale plans to launch a share buyback programme of around EUR470 million, scheduled for Nov. 4, expecting to complete the program by end of the year.
Write to Mauro Orru at firstname.lastname@example.org; @MauroOrru94