VIENNA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International on Wednesday reported a 14 percent jump in 2018 net profit, buoyed by solid growth in its eastern European businesses and proposed a significant dividend hike.
Consolidated net profit rose to 1.27 billion euros ($1.45 billion), but missed analyst expectations of 1.38 billion euros.
Net interest income rose 4.2 percent to 3.36 billion euros, in line with expectations, largely thanks to an increase in loans to customers in Russia, higher margins in Romania and higher interest rates in the Czech Republic.
Core capital rose, with a fully-loaded common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 13.4 percent. The measure was lifted by 85 basis points due to the disposal of its Polish core banking business last year.
RBI’s non-performing loan ratio decreased to 3.8 percent from 4.4 percent at end-September.
Raiffeisen said it plans to increase its payout to shareholders to 0.93 euros per share from last year’s 0.62 euros.
$1 = 0.8779 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Louise Heavens