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SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean financial holding firm KB Financial Group Inc. on Friday reported record earnings for the first quarter of this year thanks to sharply increased interest income.
Net profit came to 1.46 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) in the January-March period, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier and a record quarterly profit, the company said in a regulatory filing
Operating income amounted to 1.9 trillion won, up 8.9 percent from a year ago, with revenue swelling 17.5 percent to 20.7 trillion won.
The first-quarter bottom line far exceeded market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 1.28 trillion won in a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.
KB Financial attributed the solid increase mainly to a jump in interest income, which soared 18.6 percent to 2.65 trillion won.
The group's net interest margin net (NIM), a key barometer of profitability, came to 1.91 percent, up from 1.85 percent three months earlier.
KB Kookmin Bank, the group's flagship, saw its net profit spiking about 42 percent on-year to 977.3 billion won in the first quarter.
Shares in KB Financial ended up 2.65 percent at 61,900 won on the local bourse on Friday, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.86 percent decline.
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