Goldman Sachs's Q4 net up record $4.95 billion

Goldman Sachs, the sixth largest bank in the US by assets, registered net profits of $4.95 billion for the three months ended 31 December 2009, compared with a loss of $2.12 billion in the same period in 2008.

For the full year, the bank had net profits of $13.39 billion, up from $2.32 billion in the previous year.

Trading of fixed income, commodities and currencies buoyed Goldman's profits for the third straight quarter. The bank also reported higher fees from underwriting stock and debt offerings.

 Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein
"Despite significant economic headwinds, we are seeing signs of growth and remain focused on supporting that growth," said Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

The bank's annual net revenues more than doubled to $45.17 billion from $22.2 billion in 2008, although it was down 2 per cent from its record year in 2007.

Buoyed by the stellar performance, the bank said it will pay $16.19 billion in compensation and benefits for the whole year, which accounted for 36 per cent of its revenue.