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Business

Commerzbank quadruples annual profit

Commerzbank has said a sharp rise in 2015 bottom-line earnings will lead management to propose a dividend again. Germany's second-largest lender was seen reaping the fruits of its investment banking drive.

Commerzbank quadrupled its net earnings in 2015, the company reported on Friday. Its bottom-line profit reached 1.06 billion euros ($1.2 billion) last year.

Revenues totaled 9.762 billion euros, marking an 11-percent increase year-on-year.

The Frankfurt-based lender attributed the positive results to a stronger focus on its retail banking business, with huge investments in the high-street segment now paying off.

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Frankfurt - Germany’s financial hub

The bank's shares rose 15 percent in morning trade on the strong results.

Management reshuffle close

"2015 has shown that out strategy is right and that the implementation has been successful," CEO Martin Blessing said in a statement. "For the first time in five years we have attained a net profit of more than 1 billion euros and have seen further significant strengthening of our capital base."

On the back of the profit jump, the management board is expected to propose a dividend of 0.20 euros per share for 2015. It would be the first payout to shareholders since 2008.

Commerzbank's chief executive had announced last fall he

would not prolong his contract

with the lender which expires in October.

The bank has not given any hints yet as to who might succeed Blessing. Commerzbank is also looking for a replacement for outgoing Klaus-Peter Müller, head of the supervisory board.

hg/pad (AFP, dpa)

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