COPENHAGEN, April 28 Denmark's Danske Bank
posted forecast-beating profit for the first
quarter, driven by increased activity in the financial markets
and higher lending.
The bank, the second-biggest in the Nordic region, is
seeking to expand in Norway and Sweden where it sees significant
potential for growth, despite tough competition from peers like
Sweden's Nordea and Norway's DNB.
"We continued to attract new customers, especially in Norway
and Sweden, and we also saw a positive trend in the volume of
business with existing customers. Overall, we had a good start
to the year," Chief Executive Thomas Borgen said in a statement
The company said lending grew 4 percent from the
year-earlier period, especially driven by Norway and Sweden.
Pretax profit came in at 7.14 billion Danish crowns ($1.04
billion), an increase of almost 14 percent compared with the
same period last year and well above expectations for 5.98
billion in a Reuters poll.
The bank maintained its outlook for a net profit of 17-19
billion crowns this year and for long-term return on equity of
12.5 percent. The return on equity was 14.4 percent in the
($1 = 6.8474 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by