Societe Generale's Profit Misses Expectations

Societe Generale, France’s second - largest listed bank, missed expectations by posting lower than expected quarterly profits, figures released by the bank Thursday showed.


Net profit for the first quarter of the year was 916 million euros ($1.36 billion), down 13.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2010 as the bank was hit by tightening credit spreads.

Frederic Oudea, CEO at societe Generale, told CNBC that the bank would be looking for a net profit of 6 billion euros in 2012.

Estimates in a Reuters poll of analysts had put the bank's net profit at 1.06 billion euros.

Gross operating profit was also down by 13.1 percent to 2.243 billion euros from the first quarter of 2010, lower than in a Reuters forecast of 2.49 billion euros.

Revenue edged up by 0.6 percent to 6.61 billion euros but was below forecasts of 6.733 billion euros.

Return on Equity was 8.8 percent after tax, down from 11.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

The banking group which has a significant presence outside France said it was hit by turmoil in the Middle East, North Africa and Ivory Coast which impacted on profits. Mr Oudea also confirmed that the bank would not need a capital hike to comply with the new Basel III regulation rules.

The banking group is present in 83 countries covering five key areas including retail banking in France, international retail banking, specialized financing and insurance, private banking, asset management and investor services and an asset management and corporate and investment banking arm.