By Andrey Ostroukh
MOSCOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Russia’s largest lender Sberbank has posted a record-high quarterly profit on Thursday for the turbulent third quarter, beating market expectations although the pace of profit growth declined.
Sberbank said it made 228.1 billion roubles in net profit in the period July-September, posting a 1.8 percent rise year-on-year after a 16 percent jump in its profit the previous quarter.
Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected Sberbank to post 204.3 billion roubles in the third-quarter net profit.
Sberbank has outperformed rivals during Russia’s economic crisis and has been reporting record quarterly profit for several quarters in a row.
Alexander Morozov, Sberbank’s chief financial officer, said the bank’s business model had proved its resilience amid intensified volatility in global markets and in Russia in the third quarter.
Shares in Sberbank, which lost nearly 7 percent of their value in the third quarter, were down 0.4 percent at 189.10 rouble per piece as of 0733 GMT, slightly outperforming the benchmark MOEX stock index that was down 0.5 percent.
Sberbank said its net interest income rose 3.2 percent year on year to 359.3 billion roubles in the third quarter, while its provisions against bad loans increased to 59.5 billion roubles from 51.4 billion roubles in the same period of 2017.
Sberbank is one of several large Russian state banks under Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict that restrict its access to international capital.
In the first nine months of 2018, Sberbank said its net profit totalled 665.5 billion roubles under the International Financial Reporting Standards.
“We are confident that our financial targets for 2018 would be met,” said Morozov, who also serves as deputy chairman of the Sberbank’s executive board.
$1 = 65.6877 roubles Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, Katya Golubkova and Tatiana Voronova Editing by Edmund Blair