• Bank's net income rose 9.4 percent to 1.08 billion euros
  • ECB is spending 60 billion euros a month on asset purchases

The European Central Bank increased profit last year as asset purchases introduced to stoke economic growth and inflation fueled a surge in interest income.

The Frankfurt-based institution reported net income of 1.08 billion euros ($1.2 billion), up from 989 million euros the year before, in a financial report released on Thursday. The asset-purchase program brought in 161 million euros, compared with 2 million euros the year earlier, after policy makers expanded non-standard monetary policy measures in March.

Expenditures recovered from supervisory tasks also increased, climbing to 277 million euros from 30 million euros in 2014. The balance sheet expanded 39 percent to 257 billion euros from 185 billion euros.

The ECB is buying 60 billion euros a month in assets in an effort to grease the wheels of the European economy and lift still-tepid inflation. The program is scheduled to continue until at least March 2017.

The ECB’s Governing Council made an interim profit distribution to euro-area national central banks on Jan. 29, paying out 812 million euros of the gains, according to the release. It will distribute the remainder -- 270 million euros -- on Feb. 19.

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