ABN AMRO underlying net profits rise

ABN AMRO posts underlying net profit of €2,076m for 2016 - 8% up on last time.

Operating income rose by 2% to €8,588m while operating expenses increased by 8% to €5,657m.

The operating results was down 9% at €2,931m and the reported profit for the year was 6% lower at €1,806m.

Chief executive Kees van Dijkhuizen said: "The fourth-quarter results are solid.

"We are a financially healthy and robust bank.

"The underlying net profit was €333m for the fourth quarter and €2,076m for the full year, an increase of 8% compared with 2015.

"This past quarter we achieved loan growth in all of our major loan books: we were the number one provider of new mortgages in the Netherlands for the second consecutive year, the SME loan portfolio in the Netherlands grew modestly again after years of decline, and we onboarded new corporate clients internationally.

"As the cost/income ratio is still too high, we announced a restructuring plan in the second half of 2016.

"The ROE was 11.8% and the capital position strengthened further.

"We have increased the proposed dividend for full-year 2016 to EUR 0.84 per share.

"This is a payout ratio of 45% of the reported net profit.

"We recently announced a new management structure, designed to make the bank even more client-driven, agile and efficient.

"The new structure consists of a statutory executive board and an executive committee.

"In the executive committee, the number of business lines represented has doubled (retail banking, commercial banking, corporate & institutional banking and private banking).

"The new management structure creates a stronger client focus and explicit dedication to the business activities at senior executive level."