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Natixis Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises on Asset-Management Revenue

Natixis SA, the investment-banking and asset-management unit of France’s second-largest bank by branches, posted an increase in fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue from managing clients’ funds.

Net income rose to 206 million euros ($283 million) from 167 million euros a year earlier, Paris-based Natixis said in a statement today. Full-year profit reached 1 billion euros, beating the 950 million-euro average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Natixis, led by Chief Executive Officer Laurent Mignon, in November set targets for annual revenue from its three main businesses to exceed 8 billion euros by 2017. Natixis is seeking 75 billion euros of net new funds at its asset-management unit by the end of 2017 while expanding its international investment-banking sales by 10 percent a year.

Natixis is also expanding its insurance business to provide protection products to retail clients of its parent Groupe BPCE’s French regional banks.

Natixis plans to pay a 16 cent-a-share dividend for 2013, up from 10 cents the previous year. That matches the Bloomberg dividend forecast. Natixis last month hired Jean-Francois Lequoy, formerly general director of the French Federation of Insurance Companies, to head its insurance division and join the bank’s executive committee.

Pretax profit at Natixis’s savings unit, which includes asset management, insurance and private banking, jumped 19 percent in the fourth quarter to 204 million euros, the bank said. Asset-management revenue rose 16 percent in the quarter to 511 million euros, Natixis said.

Investment-banking pretax earnings rose to 168 million euros in the quarter from 154 million euros a year earlier as costs fell 11 percent, Natixis said.

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