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Nordea says Fourth-Quarter Net Profit Rose 74%

Nordea Bank AB's net profit rose 74% in the fourth quarter, boosted by increased income and trading gains, the Nordic region's largest financial group said Wednesday.

Nordea said net profit attributable to main shareholders for the three-month period rose to 872 million euros ($1.15 billion), or 0.34 euros ($0.45) per share, from 502 million euros, or 0.20 euros per share, a year earlier, significantly higher than analysts' expectations.

Net interest income, the bank's main source of revenue, rose 8% to 1.01 billion euros ($1.33 billion), compared to 933 million euros a year ago.

Net fee and commission income at the Stockholm-based bank increased 4% to 549 million euros ($722 million) from 529 million euros, also beating market expectations.

For the full year, Nordea said net profit was up 39% to 3.16 billion euros ($4.15 billion), or 1.21 euros ($1.59) per share, and the company said it would propose a record dividend of 0.49 euros ($0.64) per share at its next annual general meeting.

"The execution of our profitable organic growth strategy continued to pay off with record results and strong momentum in all business areas," Nordea CEO Lars G. Nordstrom said. "Going forward we will continue to reap the full benefits of our organic growth strategy while maintaining strict cost management, prudent risk control and efficient capital management."

Nordea shares rose 1.5% at 113 kronor (12.22 euros; $16.06) in morning trading on the Stockholm exchange.