November 16, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 2 years ago

KBC third-quarter results above expectations on low costs, provision releases

The logo of Belgian financial group KBC is pictured in central Brussels, Belgium September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian financial group KBC (KBC.BR) on Thursday reported a better-than-expected net profit in the third quarter, as it kept costs low and income from its insurance activities was higher because of the release of some provisions in Belgium.

For the group as a while, deposits and loans were higher than in the same period last year, especially in its international markets unit which includes businesses in Slovakia, Hungary and Ireland.

Net profit, adjusted for one-off items rose 9.9 percent in the third quarter to 691 million euros ($814.2 million), above the 648 million expected in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

In Belgium, the company’s main market, its insurance business profited from a low number of claims for its non-life business and 49 million euros of provision releases.

The group said it saw a low level of impairment charges, and even 26 million euros of provision releases in Ireland in the quarter.

Nevertheless, the company also took a 54 million euro charge in Ireland in the quarter, as part of a review of tracker rate mortgage products before 2009.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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