OSLO (Reuters) - DNB, Norway's largest bank, reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday while boosting its full-year dividend.
The company's pre-tax profit before impairments rose to 7.32 billion Norwegian crowns (£662.4 million) from 7.26 billion a year ago, lagging the average forecast of 7.58 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.
DNB plans to pay a 2018 dividend of 8.25 crowns per share, up from 7.10 crowns the previous year, while analysts on average had expected a payout of 7.90 crowns.
"The year 2018 turned out better than many had feared," Chief Executive Rune Bjerke said in a statement, adding that the impact from global market fluctuations had been limited.
On Wednesday, top Nordic rival Nordea posted a better-than-expected operating profit, lifting its shares, while Sweden's Handelsbanken saw its share price fall when its dividend missed forecasts.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)