Credit Agricole Q4 net profits climb despite one-time tax hit

Credit Agricole

France's Credit Agricole reported a 33 percent jump in quarterly profit as its investment banking unit held up well in a tough market environment, helping offset a one-time hit from tax-related items.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to 387 million euros ($479 million) from 291 million a year ago, when results were impacted by a goodwill impairment on its French retail operations.

The bank also took a 384 million euros hit in the fourth quarter due to changes in taxation both in France and, to a lesser extent, in the United States.

Nevertheless, revenue rose 1.6 percent to 4.651 billion euros, in line with a Reuters poll of 10 analysts. Investment banking revenue rose 4.9 percent, while asset management revenues rose more than 20 percent.

Credit Agricole has lately restructured shareholding ties with its co-operative parent lender and re-focused the business on France and Italy.

This has won the backing of investors, helping it eclipse SocGen as France's second-biggest listed bank.

Credit Agricole, whose results were published on the company's website, proposed a dividend of 0.63 euros per share versus 0.6 euros a year earlier.

Earlier this month, SocGen reported forecast-beating fourth quarter results although profits at BNP Paribas - France's biggest listed bank - fell short of market forecasts.