Finance

Deutsche Bank smashes profit estimates and boosts shareholder returns

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The reflection of a Deutsche Bank AG logo outside a bank branch in Berlin, Germany, on Monday, March 27, 2023. 
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Deutsche Bank on Thursday smashed fourth-quarter earnings expectations with a net profit of 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), and announced a further 1.6 billion euros in shareholder returns for 2024.

The quarterly net profit figure marked an almost 30% fall from the same quarter a year ago, but was significantly higher than the 785.61 million euros expected by analysts.

Deutsche also announced plans to hike share buybacks and dividends by 50%, returning a total 1.6 billion euros to shareholders.

The bank said it is planning an additional share buyback of 675 million euros, which it aims to complete in the first half of the year. This follows 450 million euros of repurchases in 2023.

Deutsche also plans to recommend 900 million euros in shareholder dividends for 2023 at its Annual General Meeting in May.

For the year as a whole, the German lender reported 4.2 billion euros in net income attributable to shareholders — again, beating expectations of 3.685 billion euros.

Thursday’s result was up from a net profit of 1.031 billion euros the previous quarter and 1.8 billion euros for the same period last year.

As part of a 2.5 billion euro operational efficiency program, Deutsche Bank said it expects to cut 3,500 jobs, mainly in “non-client-facing areas.”

Amid concerns about bank profitability and reports that the German government is considering a sale of some of its company holdings, including its 15% stake in Commerzbank, Deutsche has emerged as the subject of merger speculation in recent months.

However, CEO Christian Sewing told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that acquisitions were not a “priority” for Germany’s largest bank.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Deutsche Bank’s results were released on Thursday.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

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