Italy's Intesa Q4 tops forecast thanks to solid revenues

MILAN, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo on Tuesday reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit helped by robust fees and steady income from its lending business despite lower interest rates.

Net profit totalled 872 million euros ($963.30 million) in the fourth quarter, above a 760 million euro estimate in a Reuters poll of eight analysts. Revenues stood at 4.57 billion euros, ahead of a 4.38 billion euro forecast.

Its core capital ratio, one of the best in the country, stood at 14.1% at the end of the year little changed from three months earlier.

Italy’s biggest bank by number of branches said it would pay out to shareholder 80% of its annual profit or 19.2 euro cents per share versus 19.7 euro cents the previous year.

$1 = 0.9052 euros Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by James Mackenzie