By Pietro Lombardi
Credit Agricole SA said Thursday that net profit for the fourth quarter declined sharply, dragged by impairment at its Italian business and provisions for bad loans, and that it is taking further steps to simplify its structure.
France's second-largest listed bank by assets posted an almost 93% fall in net profit for the period, to 124 million euros ($150.3 million). This compares with analysts' expectations of a EUR165 million net loss, according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet.
The bank reported a EUR903 million impairment charge against Credit Agricole Italia, as well as a nearly 59% increase in provisions for soured loans, which were EUR538 million in the quarter.
Revenue rose 2.6% to EUR5.25 billion, the company said.
The board will propose a dividend of EUR0.80 a share for 2020, with a scrip dividend option.
Credit Agricole said it would fully unwind a regulatory arrangement known as switch by the end of next year. Under the switch guarantee mechanism, it transfers part of the regulatory requirements related to its insurance operations to the regional banks of the group, paying in return a fixed fee. The full unwinding should boost the bank's net profit and revenue.
Write to Pietro Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org; @pietrolombard10
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 11, 2021 01:29 ET (06:29 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.