Deutsche Bank posts best quarterly profits since 2014

Frankfurt (AFP) –

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Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank reported its best quarterly profits for seven years on Wednesday, thanks to savings generated by restructuring and a good performance by its investment arm.

Shares in the long-suffering bank jumped more than seven percent following the announcement.

Deutsche Bank said first-quarter profits were 908 million euros ($1.10 billion) while global revenues, at 7.2 billion euros, were up 14 percent year-on-year, all exceeding analysts' expectations.

The best contribution came from the investment banking division, where revenues jumped 32 percent year-on-year.

The profitability of other divisions -- retail and corporate banking, asset management -- also rose over one year, in part thanks to strict discipline on costs.

"Deutsche Bank today reported its best quarterly profit since the first quarter of 2014," the company statement said.

"This result was driven by revenue growth, a substantial reduction in provision for credit losses, and lower adjusted costs year on year."

CEO Christian Sewing said this year's revenues would be close to 2020 levels, which was a strong year.

"While we can look back on an excellent quarter, the outlook is also encouraging," Sewing said in a letter to employees.

"Moreover, the past few months have shown that we are benefiting from a number of global economic trends, including ongoing high corporate and sovereign financing demands and the growing importance of sustainability."

Deutsche Bank posted last year its first annual profit since 2014 -- 113 million euros after setting aside 1.8 billion to cope with the risk of Covid-19-related credit losses -- boosted by strong gains at its investment banking division, the one-time problem child of the business.

Its worst-ever year came in 2016, when it lost 6.8 billion euros, mostly related to its investment bank's activities in the years around the financial crisis.

As a result, the investment bank was heavily hit in Sewing's restructuring plan in which targeted a reduction in posts by around one-fifth overall.

"Deutsche Bank has, at last, reported strong earnings across the board," said analyst Suvi Platerink Kosonen at ING bank.

"While this strong performance will be difficult to repeat, we expect the restructuring programme to support performance in 2021," she added.

Shares in the bank were up 7.6 percent in late morning trading, while Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX 30 index was up about 0.4 percent.