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Deutsche Bank reports its best quarterly profit for seven years

A general meeting of Deutsche Bank
Arne Dedert | picture alliance | Getty Images

LONDON — Deutsche Bank on Wednesday reported a 908 million euro ($1.1 billion) profit for the first quarter, buoyed by continued strong performance in its investment banking division.

The bank vastly exceeded analyst expectations for net income of 642.95 million euros, according to Refinitiv, and showed a marked improvement from the 51 million euro profit eked out in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Here are the other highlights:

  • Total first-quarter net revenues were 7.2 billion euros, compared to 6.35 billion euros for the same period in 2020.
  • Common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio — a measure of bank solvency —  came in at 13.7%, compared to 12.8% for the first quarter of 2020.
  • First-quarter loan loss provisions were 69 million, down 89% from the 506 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Germany’s largest lender followed in the footsteps of many of its Wall Street rivals in posting a substantial earnings beat, with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley all smashing through first-quarter expectations in recent weeks.

CFO James von Moltke suggested in February that the heightened trading volumes that had been powering investment banking revenues higher had continued into the first quarter, but said he expected to see a normalization over the course of 2021.

The bank has also largely avoided the fallout from collapsed U.S. hedge fund Archegos Capital which saw UBS, Credit Suisse and several others take significant hits in the first quarter.

The bank has embarked on a mass restructure of its business over the past two years, the cost of which had weighed on earnings alongside elevated credit provisions. However, Deutsche swung back to profit in 2020, reporting full-year net profit of 113 million euros.

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