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ABN Amro Q1 profits up 12%

Dutch banking giant ABN Amro recorded a first quarter profits rise of 12 per cent, less than financial analysts had forecast..

The bank's net income rose to $1.2 billion, helped by the acquisition of Italy's Banca Antonveneta in March which accounted for ten per cent of a 28 per cent increase in operating income over the first quarter.

ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenink said of the results: "We have delivered a solid set of results in the first quarter.

"Revenues grew strongly, driven by organic growth in our regional Client Business Units and the first-time inclusion of Banca Antonveneta, which is now part of ABN AMRO."

However, net income was short of the $1.38 billion estimate predicted by analysts, a result that has prompted the bank to shed 2,400 staff in attempt to cut costs, mostly in the high-cost areas of the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

Instead, ABN Amro intends to recruit staff in cheaper off-shore locations – particularly in India and China, according the ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenink.

The bank already has over 1,000 clients in the sub-continent, and hopes that expansion there will see that figure double within a year.