BNP Paribas profit drops on $1.1 bln legal charge

PARIS Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:01am EST

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PARIS Feb 13 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas, France's No. 1 listed bank, reported a 76 percent decline in quarterly profits on Thursday after booking a $1.1 billion litigation provision linked to a potential breach of U.S. sanctions.

The provision - which was also accompanied by restructuring costs and writedowns on the acquisition value of BNP's Italian unit BNL - offset a rise in group revenue and gross operating profit, dragging net income down to 127 million euros ($173 million) from 519 million a year earlier.

BNP, which is seeking to speed up cost cuts while expanding in markets such as Asia and the United States, unveiled an eagerly awaited pledge to achieve return on equity of at least 10 percent by 2016.

The bank is also targeting double-digit average annual growth rates for earnings per share between 2013 and 2016. ($1 = 0.7359 euros) (Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont; Editing by James Regan)


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