Russia’s VTB Group, which includes the country’s second largest bank VTB, saw first quarter IFRS net profit fall 11 percent year-on-year to 23.3 billion rubles ($723.4 million), the group said in a statement on Thursday.
VTB’s first quarter net profit was above a consensus forecast of analysts polled by RIA Novosti of 23.1 billion rubles. The bank’s operating income before provisions grew 30.9 percent to 95.4 billion rubles.
Net fee and commission income rose 28.8 percent to 10.3 billion rubles mainly due to the group’s retail banking and transaction banking businesses.
“We delivered solid results with a strong return on equity of 15 percent for the first three months of 2012,” VTB CEO Andrei Kostin said. “Having grown substantially over the past few years, we are now focused on extracting value from VTB’s unique franchise by optimizing our asset base, further strengthening risk management policies and improving our operational efficiency.”
The bank initiated a buyback of shares, sold in a “people’s IPO” in 2007, in the first quarter of 2012 and completed it in April. The buyback was made at the 13.6 kopecks per share price of the initial public offering, and buyback requests were capped at 500,000 rubles.
VTB’s management estimated the cost of the buyback scheme at 16 billion rubles but the final figure proved to be lower than expected.