Deutsche Bank swings back to profit in third quarter, beats expectations

2016A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany’s Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters

LONDON — Deutsche Bank on Wednesday reported a net profit of 182 million euros ($214 million) for the third quarter, as Germany’s largest lender looks to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

This surpassed expectations of a 114 million euro loss and marked a sharp improvement from the 77 million euro net loss attributable to shareholders in the previous quarter.

Provisions for bad loans totaled 273 million euros, adding to the 761 million euros allocated in the second quarter and 506 million in the first.

The bank benefited in particular from strong performance in its investment bank, where net revenues were up 43% year-on-year to 2.4 billion euros, driven by 47% growth in the Fixed Income & Currencies (FIC) division.

Some other highlights included:

  • Total net revenues were 5.9 billion euros, compared to 5.3 billion in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Common equity tier 1 capital ratio stood at 13.3% compared to 13.4% a year ago.
  • Total non interest expenses came in at 5.2 billion euros in the third quarter, vs. 5.8 billion euros a year ago.

The bank had posted a net loss of 832 million euros for the same period last year, when a major restructuring plan continued to weigh on earnings.

Deutsche Bank has been embarking on a mass restructure since July 2019 in a bid to cut costs and return to long-term profitability.

CFO James von Moltke told CNBC on Wednesday that Deutsche had been gaining market share across the investment bank and particularly the fixed income and currencies business, as a result of redirecting focus during the restructure.

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“We are now very focused on the businesses where we can compete and win, and where our businesses and our clients and our people know where we are focused and where we can be really competitive, so I think we are seeing the benefits of that focus,” von Moltke told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach.

He estimated that around half of these revenues would be sustainable as the bank recovers market share and strengthens these businesses against a supportive backdrop, with investment banks across major lenders benefiting from heightened market volatility over the last three quarters.

“In the fifth quarter of our transformation, we not only demonstrated continued cost discipline, but also our ability to gain market share,” Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said in a statement.

“Our more focused business model is paying off and we see a substantial part of our revenue growth as sustainable.”

Going into Wednesday’s trading session, the bank’s share price is up more than 15% year-to-date, having recovered from a sharp decline during the March coronavirus crash.



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