Norwegian bank DNB ASA (DNB.OS) Thursday proposed a raised dividend for 2012 compared with the previous year, and posted a smaller-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter net profit as rising net interest income partly compensated for widening loan losses.
-Fourth-quarter net profit fell to NOK3.81 billion from NOK4.09 billion a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations for NOK3.28 billion.
-Loan losses widened to NOK1.19 billion from NOK926 million against expectations for NOK1.07 billion.
-Net interest income rose to NOK7.10 billion from NOK6.79 billion against expectations for NOK6.97 billion.
-DNB proposes a dividend per share for 2012 of NOK2.10, up from NOK2 for the previous year.
-"In spite of a weak international economic trend, the Norwegian economy is expected to remain strong," the bank said. "Coupled with strict cost control, this will provide the basis for a healthy profit trend in the Group's Norwegian operations," it added.
-Shares closed Wednesday at NOK75.80.
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