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Groupe Bruxelles Lambert swings to profit

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA's net asset value increased by 11.2% in 2017 from a year earlier, as the investment holding company posted higher earnings for the year and delivered a total shareholder return of 16.8%.

The company reported consolidated profit attributable to owners of the company of €705.4 million, or 4.52 per share, for 2017, compared to a loss of €457.7 million, or a loss of 2.95 per share, in 2016. The S&P Capital IQ consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the year was €4.45.

The company's net asset value rose to €117.06 per share, in 2017, from €16.99 billion, or €105.31 per share, in the previous year.

Profit from investing activities totaled €533.5 million, compared with a loss of €616.1 million in the previous year. Profit from consolidated operating activities increased to €506.3 million from €454.9 million in the prior year.

"In an environment of worldwide growth acceleration and strong momentum in the global equity markets, GBL delivered a solid total shareholder return of 16.8% in 2017, materially outperforming its benchmark index by 7.0%," said board chairman Gerald Frere.

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert announced that its subsidiary Sienna Capital will invest €250 million alongside funds affiliated with investment firm KKR in Unilever's Flora Food Group spreads business. The transaction is expected to close in the middle of this year.