Commerzbank′s Q4 losses eat into 2012 profit | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.02.2013
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Commerzbank's Q4 losses eat into 2012 profit

Germany's second-largest lender, Commerzbank, has announced bigger-than-expected losses for the final quarter of last year. It said massive writedowns had left behind only small annual earnings.

Commerzbank of Germany reported on Monday that it ran up net losses of 720 million euros ($978 million) in the last quarter of 2012. Analysts had penciled in no more than 560 million euros in losses due to one-off effects.

Germany's second-largest lender attributed the poor results for the period between October to December to extraordinary writedowns as a result of "latent tax claims" and financial strains experienced through the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary Bank Forum.

Commerzbank said in a statement it booked full-2012 profit of only six million euros, compared with 638 million euros in the previous year.

More trouble ahead

The partly state-owned lender signaled the outlook for the beginning of 2013 wasn't enthusiastic either, with massive restructuring costs and the layoff of up to 6,000 jobs eating into the bank's reserves.

Commerzbank added that despite the current difficulties it would be in a position to pay back part of the deposit it received from Germany's state-controlled rescue fund SoFFin.

Last week, Germany's biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, also reported massive losses for the final quarter of 2012 to the tune of 2.2 billion euros, while its full-year profit plummeted by 85 percent to just 611 million euros.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa)