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VTB Profit Reaches $468 Million, Beating Estimates

VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, swung to a higher profit that estimated in the third quarter after a loss a year earlier as the economy growth fueled loan demand.

Net income reached 14.7 billion rubles ($468 million) from a loss of 15 billion rubles, VTB said today on its website. The average estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for profit of 13.1 billion rubles.

Non-performing loans dropped to 9.5 percent of total lending as of Sept. 30 from 9.8 percent at the end of last year, the bank said.

Russian banks are benefiting from increased demand for loans as the economy of the world’s biggest energy supplier recovers from its 7.9 percent slump last year. The country’s financial sector has recovered and is approaching the industry’s 2007 “record” profitability of 500 billion rubles, Bank Rossii Chairman Sergey Ignatiev said on Oct. 18.

Total gross loans gained 10 percent since the start of the year to 2.8 trillion rubles, VTB said. The bank posted a record profit of 38.8 billion rubles for the first nine months, compared with a loss of 45.5 billion rubles during the same period last year, the lender said.

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