Polish Pekao 2012 net profit up 2 pct, as expected

WARSAW, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:15am EDT

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WARSAW, March 15 (Reuters) - Pekao, Poland's No.2 lender, reported a 2-percent rise in 2012 earnings, although the figure suggested a drop in the final three months because of economic slowdown that forced it to take higher provisions for bad loans.

The Polish unit of Italy's UniCredit said its net profit rose to 2.96 billion zlotys ($925 million) compared to 2.95 billion expected by analysts.

According to Reuters calculations, earnings in the fourth quarter fell to 743 million zlotys.

Pekao also said it planned a dividend of 8.39 zlotys per share, or 75 percnet of its last year's earnings. ($1 = 3.2012 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Chris Borowski; Editing by Adrian Krajewski)

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