DNB Second-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates on Mortgage Growth

DNB ASA, Norway’s largest bank, reported second-quarter net income that beat analyst estimates after increasing mortgage rates and cutting costs.

Net income fell to 3.798 billion kroner ($632 million) from 4.614 billion kroner a year earlier, the Oslo-based bank said in a statement today. That beat the 3.47 billion-krone average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank booked a one-time 569 million kroner restructuring cost in the period.

DNB raised mortgage rates in the period to build up capital to cope with stricter standards and trimmed costs to deal with the fallout from Europe’s debt crisis. The bank, the world’s second-largest lender to shipping lines, has also been struggling with rising loan losses at its maritime division amid vessel overcapacity, slumping freight rates and low demand.

“We have received written marching orders from the authorities to build far more capital through 2013 and to give this our highest priority,” said Rune Bjerke, DNB’s chief executive officer in the statement, adding that Tier 1 capital has been raised by about 11 billion kroner over the past 12 months. “This capital build-up increases the financial strength of the bank, though stricter capital requirements come at a cost for both employees, shareholders and customers.”

Total loan impairments rose to 937 million kroner from 685 million, while interest income climbed 12.7 percent to 7.48 billion kroner, DNB said. Return on equity fell to 11.6 percent from 15.9 percent.

The bank said impairments will remain within the guided level and that “due to somewhat weaker market developments, volumes are expected to show a less favorable trend than forecast, especially in the corporate market.”

The bank forecast zero growth in underlying costs and said that all other financial targets remain unchanged.

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