South Korea’s KB Financial Group Inc. said its net profit rose 22.1 percent on year in the fourth quarter and 54.5 percent for the full 2017 thanks to improved profitability of its banking arm.
According to its regulatory filing on Thursday, the company’s net profit on a consolidated basis for the quarter ended December totaled 554.2 billion won ($506.8 million), down 38.3 percent against the previous quarter due to a spike in one-time expenses for early retirement and year-end bonus payout.
For the full 2017, net income surged 54.5 percent on year to 3.31 trillion won, hitting the 3 trillion won threshold for the first time after the group transformed into a holding company structure in 2008.
Its shares finished Friday down 0.65 percent at 61,000 won.
The group’s stellar performance was largely driven by its flagship bank KB Kookmin Bank, whose profitability recovered thanks to a growth in its loan business and improved net interest margin from increases in interest rates. Its net profit in the fourth quarter was 333.7 billion won, down 47.2 percent on quarter, but up a whopping 125.6 percent for the full 2017 to reach 2.18 trillion won.
Last year KB Securities Co. reported a net profit of 271.7 billion won, KB Insurance Co. 330.3 billion won, and KB Kookmin Card Co. 296.8 billion won.
The 2016 launch of KB Securities through a merger between KB Investment & Securities and Hyundai Securities as well as the group’s full-stake acquisition of KB Insurance and KB Capital last year have helped expand the group’s profit base, said an official from KB Financial Group.
By Chung Joo-won and Kim Hyo-jin
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