By Elena Vardon

 

ING Groep topped expectations on Thursday as it reported first-quarter earnings boosted by interest rates and lower provisions, and launched a 1.5 billion-euro ($1.65 billion) share buyback.

Shares in Amsterdam were up 3.9% at 0835 GMT at EUR11.50.

The Dutch bank said it sees the benefits from high interest rates continuing throughout the year and backed its total income growth target of more than 10% in 2023

Total income for the three months to March 31 came in 21% ahead of the previous year at EUR5.57 billion, beating consensus estimates of EUR5.20 billion. This included EUR4.01 billion in net interest income--the difference between what banks earn on loans and pay clients for deposits--against consensus of EUR3.93 billion. Its fee and commission income slipped 4% to EUR896 million on lower fees from investment products

It posted a net profit of EUR1.59 billion for the quarter compared with EUR429 million a year earlier and exceeding expectations of EUR1.11 billion taken from a company-compiled consensus.

The lender booked a lighter addition to loan loss provisions at EUR152 million, while consensus had the figure at EUR430 million.

ING's common equity Tier 1 ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--was 14.8% at the end of the period, from 14.5% a quarter earlier, and consensus of 14.3%, it said.

"Quarter-on-quarter, the inflationary effects were less pronounced, but we will keep a close eye on expenses to stay competitive. Risk costs were modest, reflecting the quality of our loan book and including some releases from earlier provisions," Chief Executive Steven van Rijswijk said, pointing to a EUR118 provision release for its Russia-related portfolio

 

Write to Elena Vardon at elena.vardon@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2023 05:06 ET (09:06 GMT)

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