OSLO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Norway’s DNB, the country’s largest bank, beat fourth-quarter net earnings forecasts on Thursday as loan impairments fell, and proposed a higher-than-expected dividend payout.
Operating costs rose however, as the company invested heavily in digital solutions to attract more customers.
“It is both right and important to spend money on development, especially during the stage we are in now,” Chief Executive Rune Bjerke said in a statement.
“The banking industry is opening up, and we are being challenged by new competitors. We expect to capitalise on our current initiatives in the future,” he added.
DNB reported an 18 percent year-on-year jump in net profits to 6.37 billion Norwegian crowns ($825.72 million), against expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts of a 5.31 billion profit. ($1 = 7.7145 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Ole Petter Skonnord)