(LEAD) KB Financial Group shifts to black in Q4

SEOUL, KB Financial Group Inc. on Wednesday reported its fourth-quarter net income of 217.5 billion won (US$163.9 million), shifting from a loss of 114.6 billion won a year earlier. The company said in a regulatory filing that it posted 304.2 billion won in operating profit for the quarter, compared with 182.2 billion won a year ago. Revenue rose 124.4 percent to 18.48 trillion won. The earnings fell short of market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 397.4 billion won, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency. For the whole of 2023, the group's net profit jumped 16.08 percent from a year earlier to 4.56 trillion won. Operating income came to 6.44 trillion won, up 21.67 percent on-year. Revenue more than doubled from 8.24 trillion won to 18.48 trillion won. Interest income gained 5.4 percent on-year to 12.14 trillion won last year amid high interest rates, while net commission income gained 4.5 percent to 3.67 trillion won, the group said in a press release. The group's net interest margin, the difference between interest received and paid, came to 2.08 percent in 2023, up 12 basis points from a year before, while that of flagship KB Kookmin Bank gained 10 basis points to 1.83 over the cited period. KB Kookmin Bank's net profit surged 15.45 percent on-year to 3.15 trillion won last year. Its operating profit increased 12.86 percent on-year to 4.33 trillion won despite an 8.9 percent drop in revenue from 49.4 trillion won in 2022 to 45.03 trillion won last year. Source: Yonhap News Agency