BRE Plans First Dividend in Decade; Profit Tops Estimates

BRE Bank SA, Commerzbank AG’s Polish unit, proposed its first dividend in a decade after reporting fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

BRE plans to return to shareholders about 33 percent of its record 1.2 billion-zloty ($387 million) profit last year, the Warsaw-based bank said in a statement today. Fourth-quarter net income was 272.6 million zloty, beating the 247.8 million zloty mean estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Banks in Poland saw their combined profit rise 2.1 percent to a record 14.8 billion zloty in the first 11 months of last year as lending continued to grow even as the country’s economy slowed, according to data from the country’s financial-markets regulator. BRE expects this year to post “a similar level” of profit as in 2012, Chief Executive Officer Cezary Stypulkowski said on Jan. 16.

BRE shares climbed for a second day, increasing 1.8 percent to 333 zloty at 10:25 a.m. in Warsaw and valuing the lender at 14 billion zloty. Warsaw’s benchmark WIG20 Index gained 0.8 percent today.

Net interest income fell to 555.5 million zloty in the fourth quarter from 569.4 million zloty a year earlier, while net fee income dropped 4.8 percent to 195.3m zloty. Bad-loan provisions were little changed at 89 million zloty.

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