SocGen says 2016 profits hit by Croatian sale

Paris (AFP) - French bank Societe Generale on Thursday reported a drop in earnings last year, due to losses linked to the sale of its Croatian subsidiary and accounting expenses.

Societe Generale said in a statement that its bottom-line net profit amounted to 3.87 billion euros ($4.13 billion) in 2016, down 3.2 percent on the year.

The figure nevertheless beat forecasts by analysts surveyed by Factset who predicted net profit of 3.6 billion euros.

The drop was due largely to losses of around 235 million euros on the sale of its Croatian subsidiary Splitska Banka as well as tax and accounting items.

The group also announced it intended to list on the stock exchange its vehicle leasing subsidiary ALD Automotive.

"The quality of the Societe Generale group's results in 2016 reflects the good commercial and operating performances in all its businesses and in an uncertain environment," said CEO Frederic Oudea.

"In an economic environment that is less buoyant and much more demanding on the regulatory front, we have simplified our banking model, optimised capital allocation and continued to invest in the businesses of the future, as we undertook to do in our 2014-2016 strategic plan."

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