Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank (ETR: DBK) returned to profit in 2018 for the first time in four years, however a disappointing fourth quarter dampened investor optimism.

The German bank reported annual profit of €341 million (£299 million), compared to losses of €735 million back in 2017.

Nevertheless, this proved significantly lower than analyst expectations of €422 million, overshadowing the bank’s return to growth.

Moreover, Deutsche’s also disappointed in the final quarter of the year, reporting a loss of €319 million.

Fixed income revenues also fell considerably to €786 million, down 23% as a result of “challenging market conditions.”

Having missed earning forecasts, Deutsche Bank said it intends to ramp up its cost saving initiatives.

Back in April, the embattled bank announced the departure of John Cyran as chief executive, after years of successive losses.

Cyran was replaced in April 2018 by Christopher Sewing, who has a background in retail.

Christian Sewing, Chief Executive Officer, said of the latest annual results: Our return to profitability shows that Deutsche Bank is on the right track. Now, our priority is to take the next step. In 2019 we aim not only to save costs but also to make focused investments in growth. We aim to grow profitability substantially through the current year and beyond.”

As of April 2018, the bank was the 15th largest bank in the world by assets.

Deutsche Bank has been struggling since the financial crisis after a series of scandals and legal battles.

In January 2017, the bank was fined $425 million by the New York State Department of Financial Services as well as £163 million by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding accusations of failing to adequately monitor money laundering in Russia.

Shares in the German lender are currently down -3.20% as of 12:28PM (GMT).