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Credit Suisse smashes analyst estimates but warns 'outlook to remain challenging'

Credit Suisse delivered forecast-beating earnings for its third quarter on Thursday, with the Swiss bank noting positive trends in its operations amid restructuring and cost-cutting.

The group posted third-quarter net profit of $42 million for the quarter, against gloomy estimates from a Reuters poll that predicted a loss of $124 million.

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"We have continued to implement the strategy that we defined a year ago, which is really to focus on execution, big focus on cost," Tidjane Thiam, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse, told CNBC Thursday.

"We've continued to push growth in our chosen areas," he added.

Thiam admitted that the investment banking business profited from the post-Brexit trading flows, but told CNBC that the bank was pursuing its goal of restructuring its investment division to a more optimal size.

The bank also said in a statement that it expects "market activity to continue to be influenced by geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainty over the next several quarters and the outlook to remain challenging."

The bank added that it further strengthened its capital position by raising its litigation provisions by 357 million Swiss francs ($368 million). The results also stated that it saw its balance sheet bolstered by the sale of real estate worth around 346 million Swiss francs. Shares were down 4 percent as the European trading session began on Thursday.

Its Swiss bank rival, UBS, commented on Thursday that Credit Suisse's results were "reassuring" and that its plans for further cost cuttings would keep boosting the bank's results. It noted however that its competitor faces challenges from regulatory and taxation changes as well as exchange rate fluctuations.