Dutch and German growth help ING profit

Tim Wallace
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DUTCH finance group ING saw its profits shoot up by more than 50 per cent on the back of the relatively healthy economies in the Netherlands and Germany.

The group made profits of €1.8bn (£1.3bn) in the first three months of the year, up 50.3 per cent on the same period of 2014.

And its banking operations recorded net income of €1.2bn, more than double the figure a year earlier, aided by falling loan losses across Germany and the Netherlands.

Financial markets profits more than tripled to €166m on strong credit trading performance, while industry lending profits were up 22.3 per cent to €359m.

Analyst Matthew Clark at Nomura said the results were “above expectations, but predominantly driven by trading revenues” – typically a more volatile sector of income, meaning the positive results may not be representative of a strong underlying trend.

ING Group’s shares rose 1.97 per cent on the day to €13.99.

“This strong performance was achieved despite the challenging operating environment, characterised by unprecedented low interest rates and the uneven economic recovery,” said the group’s chief executive Ralph Hamers.

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