OSLO (Reuters) - DNB, Norway's largest bank, reported a smaller-than-expected top-line growth for the first quarter on Friday, but said a recent rate hike by the central bank would have a positive impact from the second quarter onwards.
The lender's net interest income, a key measure of revenue, rose by 3.1 percent on year to 9.29 billion Norwegian crowns (£813.1 million) in the January-March period, lagging expectations in a Reuters poll for 9.48 billion.
"The Norwegian economy has got off to a flying start in 2019. Current macro trends provide a tailwind for both businesses and private individuals who are customers in DNB," the company said.
"The increase in Norges Bank's key policy rate from 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent, followed by DNB's announcement of an increase in loan rates effective from 8 May, will have a positive effect on net interest income from the second quarter," it added.
DNB's pre-tax profit before impairments rose to 7.58 billion Norwegian crowns from 6.72 billion a year ago, slightly lagging the average forecast of 7.68 billion in the poll of analysts.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)