Nomura pushes back profit target after hit from crisis

JAPANESE bank Nomura yesterday said it had pushed back its target of achieving a 500bn yen (£3.6bn) profit by a year, though it now sees itself as being on a par with the world’s top tier of investment banks.

Nomura had set the goal of posting a pre-tax profit of 500bn yen by the year to March 2011, though that was before the devastating financial crisis and its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ Asian and European investment banking operations.

Chief executive Kenichi Watanabe told investors yesterday that it now hopes to deliver the target profit by the year to March 2012.

“Last year we were three or four laps behind US and European investment banks. But we have narrowed the gap and I would say we are about one and-a-half to two laps behind,” he said. “This year we are at a stage where we can aim to be part of the top tier of investment banks.”

The firm has ploughed its efforts into expanding in Europe and Asia on the back of the Lehman deal, as well as building up a US presence on its own.

Last year, it made a pre-tax profit of 105.3bn yen, a dramatic recovery from the 780bn yen that the bank lost in the turbulent year to March 2009.