World Economy

Profit Drops

Profit DropsProfit Drops

ING Groep NV plans to pay a dividend for the first time in almost seven years after repaying a state bailout, even as profit from its banking activities fell in the fourth quarter. Underlying profit at the banking unit, which excludes results from the company’s insurance holdings and one-time effects, decreased to 548m euros ($620m) from 686m euros a year earlier, the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement Wednesday. That missed the average estimate of 570.8 million euros in a Bloomberg News survey of six analysts. “ING Bank posted a strong set of full-year 2014 results, despite some headwinds in the fourth quarter,” said Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers in the statement.