Danske Bank Q4 tops forecast, hikes payout to shareholders
Denmark's largest financial institution, Danske Bank, plans to make its biggest ever payout to investors via a dividend and share buy-back, it said on Tuesday, after posting fourth-quarter earnings that beat forecasts.
Copenhagen-based Danske Bank said it planned to pay a dividend of 8 Danish crowns per share and buy back 9 billion crowns ($1.3 billion) of stock.
The bank was hit particularly hard by Europe's financial crisis and has until now struggled to keep up with rivals on key metrics such as return on equity.
"In 2015, Danske Bank continued to progress and delivered strong results despite a challenging environment," said Chief Executive Thomas Borgen in a statement.
Danske Bank reported fourth-quarter profit before tax above analysts' average forecast thanks to higher trading income.
Pretax profit was 866 million crowns ($127 million) after lower goodwill impairments than a year earlier. Analysts had expected a pretax profit of 615 million crowns.
The bank said it expected continued pressure on margins and net profit for 2016 to be in line with net profit before goodwill impairments in 2015, when it reached 13.1 billion crowns.