* Denmark's Jyske Bank and Sydbank's Q1 below analyst
* Sydbank plans to cut workforce by 9 percent
(Adds details, analyst comments)
By Ole Mikkelsen
COPENHAGEN, April 30 Denmark's Jyske Bank
and Sydbank missed analyst forecasts on
Wednesday and Sydbank announced a cost cutting programme that
included a nine percent reduction in its workforce.
Danish banks have been hit by bad loans since a property
bubble burst in 2009 and problems in they key farming sector
that left Denmark on the edge of recession in 2012 and 2013.
While some Danish banks have since reported lower impairment
charges, Jyske Bank and Sydbank - Denmark's second and third
largest banks by market capitalisation - have lagged the sector.
"This is what stands out as the common denominator of the
two banks," analyst Jesper Christensen from Alm. Brand Markets
Jyske Bank fell 4.3 percent to 295.90 crowns underperforming
the main Copenhagen blue-chips index, while Sydbank
rose 3.6 percent to 141.80 Danish crowns by 1001 GMT, buoyed by
news of a recovery plan.
Sydbank said it would increase profitability and reduce
costs by cutting 200 of its 2,201 staff, which would lower
annual costs by 200 million Danish crowns by the start of 2016.
Sydbank's pretax profit in the first quarter rose 80 percent
year on year to 331 million Danish crowns ($61.3 million),
below analysts' forecast of 345 million crowns.
"The new plan is a little weak on income but very aggressive
on costs," analyst Christian Hede from Nordea wrote in a note to
Profits were boosted by the 147 million Danish crowns it
received for its stake in payment cart services company Nets,
which was sold to Advent International, Bain Capital and ATP for
17 billion Danish crowns in March.
Jyske Bank also missed first-quarter pretax profit
forecasts due to falling revenues and higher loan writedowns.
Unlike rival Sydbank, Jyske Bank has yet to present a plan
to restore earnings, which were hit by higher losses in the
small Spar Lolland bank that it took over in 2013.
Pretax profit dropped 25 percent to 418 million Danish
crowns ($77.4 million), far short of analysts' forecast of 763
Profits fell despite booking around 200 million crowns from
the sale of its stake in Nets, Chief Executive Anders Dam saying
low interest rates had put net interest income under pressure.
($1 = 5.4020 Danish Crowns)
(Additional reporting by Shida Chayesteh Editing by Jon Boyle)