Swedbank Q1 op profit tops forecasts

STOCKHOLM, April 23 Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:39am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, April 23 (Reuters) - Swedish banking group Swedbank posted a first-quarter operating profit that topped forecasts as net interest income beat expectations on Tuesday and said it expected to improve its credit rating during the year.

Operating profit fell six percent to 4.9 billion Swedish crowns ($751 million), beating a mean forecast for 4.7 billion seen in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The bank, the first of the Nordic banks to report earnings, had a return on equity of 15.0 percent at the end of the quarter and forecast slightly lower expenses in the first half of the year compared with the second. ($1 = 6.5285 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Mia Shanley and Oskar von Bahr)

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