02/16/2012 01:13 EST | Updated 04/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Societe Generale 4th qtr earns well below expectations on €622 mln hit from Greek bonds

PARIS - Societe Generale says its fourth-quarter earnings plummeted after it took a half-billion euro hit as Europe's intensifying financial crisis slashed the value of its holdings of Greek government bonds.

The French bank reported a net profit of €100 million ($131 million) for the three months ending Dec. 31, down from €874 million a year earlier and well below market expectations.

The bank said in a statement Thursday its quarterly earnings were saddled with a €622 million write-down on its Greek government bonds, which the bank said it now has discounted by 75 per cent, matching French banking rival BNP Paribas and in line with terms of an expected restructuring of Greece's debt.