ING Posts Narrower Fourth-Quarter Loss - TheStreet

AMSTERDAM (

TheStreet

) --

ING Groep

(ING) - Get Report

, the Dutch financial services firm, reported a fourth-quarter loss of 712 million euros ($978.8 million) after recording a charge to pay back state aid.

The loss, however, was narrower than the year-earlier loss of 3.71 billion euros.

ING said underlying net profit in the quarter was 74 million euros, a reversal from a loss a year earlier of 3.09 billion euros.

ING recorded a charge of 930 million euros to repay the Dutch government for receiving state aid.

The company received 10 billion euros from the Dutch government last year to help it weather the financial crisis.

ING said its banking operations posted fourth-quarter pretax underlying profit of 132 million euros vs. a year-earlier loss of 1.84 billion euros. Its insurance operations had a pretax underlying loss of 47 million euros, narrower than a loss of 2.5 billion euros in the same period a year ago.

The company plans to split its banking and insurance operations by 2012.

"2010 will be a year of transition, and it will not be without challenges, as we work towards the operational separation of the banking and insurance businesses," said CEO Jan Hommen, in a statement.

ING won't pay a 2009 dividend.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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