RPT-SEB Q1 profits beat forecast

Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:23am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, April 25 (Reuters) - Swedish banking group SEB reported on Friday a bigger-than-expected rise in first-quarter operating profit on the back of strong commission income but sounded a warning over uncertainties due to events in Ukraine.

SEB's operating profit in the quarter rose to 4.9 billion Swedish crowns ($739 million), beating a mean forecast for 4.7 billion in a Reuters poll and compared with 3.7 billion in the year-ago period.

SEB, the first of the Nordic banks to report earnings for the quarter, said the improved market sentiment at the end of 2013 had carried on into 2014 though it sounded a warning over Ukraine.

"The elevated geopolitical risks following the distressing events in Ukraine, may impact trade flows and lead to a more cautious business sentiment going forward, particularly in the Baltic countries," CEO Annika Falkengren said. ($1 = 6.5777 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Mia Shanley; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)

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