Russia's economic recovery boosts Sberbank's profit

Image caption,
The bank said there had been signs of economic recovery in Russia

Sberbank, Russia's largest lender, has reported a sharp rise in quarterly profit due to cost-cutting and a fall in provisions against bad loans.

The state-controlled bank posted a net profit of 43.5bn roubles ($1.37bn; £945m) for January to March, up from 583m roubles a year earlier.

Provision charge for loan impairment dropped 40.1% to 54.3bn roubles, the bank reported.

Sberbank said that the drop was "backed by indications of economic recovery".

It added that its profitability was recovering.

Analyst Leonid Slipchenko at Uralsib Capital said: "The bank earned record-high profits due to lower provisions.

"Overdue loans grew insignificantly."

Sberbank, hit by the economic downturn, announced last year it was planning to cut as many as 67,000 jobs, or a quarter of its workforce, within five years.

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