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KBC: fourth-quarter earnings in line with consensus

( - KBC has reported fourth-quarter net profit of 621 million euros, an "excellent result," due to its non-life insurance business and strict cost management, the Belgian financial group said on Thursday.

This generated a full-year profit of 2,570 million euros, KBC said, in line with the 2,575 million euros recorded for full-year 2017 - and also in line with the consensus.

In the statement, Chief Executive Officer Johan Thijs wanted to sound optimistic, but also seemed rather cautious.

"European economic conditions are generally solid, although the growth peak is behind us," he said.

The group's fully loaded common equity ratio - a measure of a bank's financial strength - has increased by 24 basis points, quarter-on-quarter, to 16.22%.

Shares in KBC were up 0.7% by 11:45 after this report, outperforming the BEL 20 index (+0.4%).

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