SocGen targets 3 pct annual revenue growth

PARIS Tue May 13, 2014 1:10am EDT

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PARIS May 13 (Reuters) - Societe Generale, France's second-largest bank, said on Tuesday it is aiming for 3 percent annual revenue growth over the next three years, helped by retail banking in Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa.

SocGen confirmed its ambitions in Russia after it took a hit from a slide in the value of assets there following unrest in Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Societe Generale plans to finalise a 1.45 billion euro ($2 billion) cost-cutting programme in 2015 and cap expenses growth at 1 percent a year in a bid to improve profitability in an environment of slow growth in Western Europe.

In its strategic plan, SocGen is targeting return on equity (ROE) of above 10 percent by end-2016 versus an underlying ROE of 8.4 percent in 2013, and aims to increase the dividend payout ratio to 50 percent in 2015 from 40 percent in 2014. ($1 = 0.7270 Euros) (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthias Blamont; Editing by James Regan)

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