Behold, a logo of Societe Generale SA bank branch in Paris, France. You can almost hear the baguettes crunching and smell the croissants baking.
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Societe Generale on Thursday announced that its fourth-quarter net profit had taken a nosedive faster than my New Year’s resolution to cut back on carbs. The culprit? A weaker net banking income. But don’t worry folks! They’ve got a plan – they’re launching a new 280 million euro ($302 million) share buyback program because nothing says ‘we’ve got this under control’ like buying your own stuff.
The French lender reported group net income of 430 million euros which was slightly above analyst forecast of 404 million euros. This just goes to show that sometimes you can surprise people by doing better than their rock-bottom expectations for you. However, it still pales compared to the whopping 1.07 billion euros recorded for Q4 of 2022.
SocGen also managed to pull off an annual net profit of about 2.49 billion euros which exceeded analysts’ expectations who predicted around 2.15 billion euros. I guess, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in the land of baguettes and Brie. SocGen reported that its quarterly net banking revenue had deflated by 9.9% to 5.96 billion euros, largely due to a decline in net interest income from their French retail operations – you know, the ones where they actually interact with real people?
In response to these financial shenanigans, SocGen announced plans for a cash dividend of 90 cents per share (because who doesn’t love spare change) along with launching its aforementioned share buyback program worth around $302 million dollars.
Other key figures reported include some ratios that only finance geeks would get excited about: CET1 ratio at 13.1%, return on tangible equity at an underwhelming 1.7% for Q4 and cost-to-income ratio standing tall at an impressive figure of…78.3%. Yikes!
The Group CEO Slawomir Krupa described the year as “a transition…and transformation”. Aka ‘we’re changing stuff up because we have no idea what else to do’. He went on to say something about exceptional momentum, strength and performance but let’s be honest – we’ve heard this song before.
BoursoBank seems like one bright spot amidst all this chaos though; it added more than half-a-million new clients compared to last year bringing its total client base close to six million by end-2023 – way more friends than most of us can boast about having!
Societe Generale posts sharp profit drop as net banking income slides