May 2, 2019 / 6:58 AM / 22 days ago

Czech bank MONETA lifts dividend outlook, plans share buyback

PRAGUE, May 2 (Reuters) - Czech lender MONETA Money Bank increased its planned dividend payout for the next three years on Thursday and said it would seek approval for a share buyback programme.

Chief Executive Tomas Spurny said the buyback would be worth up to 1 billion Czech crowns ($44 million) and could start towards the end of this year if it secures regulatory and shareholder approval and would likely last 9-12 months.

The bank reported first-quarter net profit of 983 million crowns on Thursday, in line with analyst expectations. Net banking income rose 6.9 percent to 2.55 billion crowns.

MONETA said it raised its dividend outlook on the back of its overall capital strategy, current performance and good first-quarter results.

It said it expected to pay a dividend per share of 6.65 crowns from 2019 profit, and also in 2020 and 2021. Previously it had forecast a payout of 5.40 to 5.90 per share for 2019-2021. ($1 = 22.8750 Czech crowns) (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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