Dutch financial services group ING Groep NV (ING) returned to profit in the second quarter of 2009 after losing three straight quarters.
But earnings at the banking giant came in much below market expectations because of rising loan-loss provisions and continued write-downs in real estate.
''I'm happy to say we're back in the black again,'' Jan Hommen, chief executive of ING, said at a news conference. ''Commercial performance has picked up quite significantly in the last two quarters.''
''Benefits of Back to Basics and improvements in equity and credit markets helped the Group return to profit with an underlying net result of €229 million. However, market impacts and the weaker economic environment continue to strain ING's results,'' he added.
The bank said it expects the turbulence in the financial market to remain for some time.
ING scrapped its interim dividend, and Hommen said no decision has been taken yet on the possibility of a full-year payout.
The company's second-quarter underlying net profit of €229 million shows improvement from underlying net loss of €305 million in Q1.