* Net interest income NOK 9.29 bln vs poll 9.48 bln
* Profit before impairment NOK 7.58 bln vs poll 7.68 bln
* Expects Q2 boost from recent c.bank rate hike (Adds quote, background)
OSLO, May 3 (Reuters) - DNB, Norway’s largest bank, reported smaller-than-expected top-line growth for the first quarter on Friday, but said a recent rate hike by the central bank would have a positive impact from the second quarter onwards.
The lender’s net interest income, a key measure of revenue, rose by 3.1 percent on the year ago period to 9.29 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.06 billion) in the January-March period, lagging expectations in a Reuters poll for 9.48 billion.
“The Norwegian economy has got off to a flying start in 2019. Current macro trends provide a tailwind for both businesses and private individuals who are customers in DNB,” the company said.
“The increase in Norges Bank’s key policy rate from 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent, followed by DNB’s announcement of an increase in loan rates effective from 8 May, will have a positive effect on net interest income from the second quarter,” it added.
DNB’s pre-tax profit before impairments rose to 7.58 billion Norwegian crowns from 6.72 billion a year ago, slightly lagging the average forecast of 7.68 billion in the poll of analysts.
On Tuesday, Nordic rivals Nordea and Danske Bank posted lower-than-expected profits for the first quarter, hitting their shares.
Danske lowered its outlook for the year, due in part to the effects of a massive money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch, while Nordea set aside money to pay a potential fine for alleged money laundering.
DNB’s shares are up 14.8 percent year-to-date, while those of Nordea and Danske are down 2.4 and 8.8 percent respectively. ($1 = 8.7580 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)