Nordea nets more

Nordea Bank’s shipping division has posted improved first half numbers despite a slight depression in lending during the second quarter.

Nordea’s Shipping & Offshore arm logged an operating profit of EUR 181m ($224.8m) in the opening six months of 2014, beating the EUR 72m seen in the same period last year.

The division was also able to reverse EUR 34m in loan loss provisions, a turnaround from the EUR 74m in loan losses a year earlier.

“Shipping experienced low credit losses, and while customer activity fell from high levels last quarter, volume growth picked up towards the end of the quarter,” Nordea said in its quarterly report.

In the second quarter, profit before loan losses at the division slipped to EUR 72m from the EUR 77m seen in the first quarter.

The decline was mainly due to somewhat lower activity in the loan market affecting net interest income, the bank said.

Overall, Nordea recorded income of EUR 1.517bn in the first half, down 3%.

Christian Clausen, chief executive of Nordea, said: “The second quarter of 2014 was characterised by a continued inflow of customers and strong activity, particularly in our savings area and corporate advisory business.

“Income is holding up well, despite low lending demand, low interest rates and low volatility, and we continue to execute on our cost and capital efficiency programmes.”