Société Générale reported a "resilient performance" from all of its business units in its fourth quarter, helping the French bank increase its underlying profitability over the full year.
Full-year revenues rose 0.5% to €25.1bn in 2017, including a record contribution from its international retail banking and financial services, helping underlying net income to €4.5bn - up 8.4% on 2016.
In its fourth quarter, the bank booked underlying net income of €877m, down 24% on the same quarter in 2016, but beating expectations of a loss.
The result was negatively affected by several exceptional items in the fourth quarter, the bank said. These included charges related to adapting to the French Retail Banking networks, tax reforms in France and the US and other provisions.
- Net banking income of €23.95bn was down 5.3% on 2016
- Gross operating income of €6.12bn was down 27.9% on 2016
- Operating income of €4.77bn was down 25.4% on 2016
- Reported group net income of 2,81bn was down 27.6% on 2016
- Proposed full-year dividend of €2.20 per share
The company announced in November that it was to close 15% of its branches, with the loss of 900 jobs in France as it transforms its business into digital banking.
Fréderic Oudéa, chief executive, said: "We are starting 2018 with confidence, sustained by the ambition to seize the growth opportunities of our activities, in an economic and financial environment that should gradually be more favourable.
"We will focus on the disciplined execution of the first year of our new strategic plan. With globally recognised expertise, the exceptional commitment of our teams and a solid balance sheet, we are resolutely aiming to be a trusted partner of our customers, deeply involved in the positive transformation of our societies and economies.”
Investors were impressed by the results and the dividend announcement and pushed the shares higher in early trade - up 4.33% to €46.20 on the Paris Bourse.