Commerzbank profit rises, sees higher revenue

Commerzbank AG (CBK.XE) said Thursday that its earnings rose sharply in the fourth quarter, and said it expects underlying revenue to rise in 2019.

The German lender’s net profit rose to 113 million euros ($127.7 million) from EUR75 million, while revenue excluding exceptional items declined to EUR2.15 billion from EUR2.17 billion.

Analysts had forecast quarterly net income of EUR79 million, according to a company-compiled consensus.

Net interest income was EUR1.24 billion in the quarter, while operating expenses were EUR1.64 billion.

Commerzbank, which has been at the center of speculation of a merger with Deutsche Bank AG (DBK.XE), said it expects higher underlying revenue in 2019, while its cost base should be below EUR6.8 billion.

The bank is targeting a CET 1 ratio–a measure of financial strength–of at least 12.75% by the end of 2019.

As previously reported, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20 European cents a share for 2018.

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