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Nordea Reports 4th-Quarter Profit

February 21, 2002

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HELSINKI, Finland (AP) _ Nordea, the Nordic region’s largest banking group, nearly doubled its profit in the fourth quarter, citing improvement on its investment returns.

The group, which also provides insurance policies and other financial services, said Thursday it expects its earnings to grow only slightly this year.

Nordea’s net profit was 523 million euros ($461 million) in the October-December period, up from 332 million euros in the same period in 2000.

Nordea said its last results were also helped by tax revenues of 55 million euros ($48 million).

For the full year, the group reported a net profit of 1.57 billion euros ($1.38 billion), down from 1.7 billion euros the year before.

``With a strong focus on conducting business locally we will further tap growth opportunities, streamline support processes and procedures and thereby improve efficiency and performance of the group,″ chief executive Thorleif Krarup said.

Nordea has 1,260 banking branches and 125 insurance offices in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, with 9 million individual customers and 600,000 corporate clients. The Nordea group employs 34,000 people.

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