Dow Jones Newswires: Credit Suisse caps difficult year with strong profit rise

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Credit Suisse Group AG capped a turbulent year with a strong increase in fourth-quarter net profit.

This will be the last set of results under Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, who announced his resignation last week amid a spying scandal that has roiled the Swiss bank CS, +1.41%  for months, and come two months after Credit Suisse cut its profitability targets for 2019 and 2020.

Net profit for the period was 852 million Swiss francs ($872.6 million), compared with CHF259 million a year earlier, Switzerland’s second-largest bank by assets said Thursday.

Revenue rose 29% to CHF6.19 billion.

Analysts had forecast a quarterly net profit of CHF968 million on revenue of CHF5.57 billion, according to a consensus forecast provided by the bank.

Thiam has steered the bank through a deep overhaul that significantly downsized the investment bank while boosting the wealth-management operations.

“The restructuring was successful and our performance in 2019, the first full year post-restructuring, illustrates how much the bank has changed since 2015,” said Thiam.

Pretax profit rose 54% on year at the bank’s international wealth-management business. The global-markets arm swung to a pretax profit of CHF48 million from a loss of CHF193 million. The investment banking and capital markets division made a pretax loss in the quarter.

Looking ahead, the bank said it is “cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the year,” which has started strongly across all divisions, it said.

Credit Suisse proposed a dividend of about CHF0.28 a share compared with a dividend of CHF0.26 a share for 2018.

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