MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s largest lender Sberbank on Tuesday posted a 75.7% drop in net profit to 300.2 billion roubles ($4.4 billion) in 2022, as Western sanctions over Ukraine hit the domestic banking sector.
However, under Russian accounting standards (RAS), the bank reported a 40.1% year-on-year profit increase for December as it boosted its performance in the second half of the year.
Sberbank quit almost all European markets last year, blaming big cash outflows and threats to its staff and property over Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Western sanctions. It was one of several banks banned from the SWIFT international payments network, hampering its banking operations abroad.
“2022 was a serious test of our ability to meet external challenges and quickly rebuild our business and technology,” CEO German Gref said, calling the results “decent”.
“Since the second half of the year we have been able to return to a trajectory of profit growth and have increased our capital and capital adequacy,” he said.
The bank’s retail loan portfolio grew 1.7% to 12 trillion roubles in December, and was up 12.9% over the year.
Sberbank shares were down 1.8% to 150.98 roubles by 0823 GMT, but have risen around 8% since the start of the year.
Analysts from financial services company Finam said the shares could firm above 200 roubles if the market factors in a high dividend. The bank did not pay a 2021 dividend after a government order last year.
($1 = 68.45 roubles)
(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya, writing by Caleb Davis; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)