BERLIN, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Deutsche Bank posted a profit of 341 million euros (391 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, the first full-year net profit since 2014, Germany's largest bank announced on Friday.
"Our return to profitability shows that Deutsche Bank is on the right track," said Christian Sewing, chief executive officer at Deutsche Bank.
In 2017, the bank posted a net loss of 735 million euros.
"In 2019, we aim not only to save costs but also to make focused investments in growth. We aim to grow profitability substantially through the current year and beyond," Sewing said. However, he did not provide a precise profit forecast for the current year.
Deutsche Bank's adjusted costs decreased by 5 percent to 22.8 billion euros in 2018. The bank had projected adjusted costs to amount to 23 billion euros. "In view of the progress made in financial year 2018," Deutsche Bank tightened its cost target for 2019 and is expecting adjusted costs to amount to 21.8 billion euros instead of 22 billion euros.
In addition, the company confirmed its goal of reducing the number of full-time internal employees - currently around 91,700 to below 90,000 by the end of 2019.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, however, Deutsche Bank reported a net loss of 409 million euros. According to the bank, the poor figure was primarily attributable to the "implementation of strategic measures, a challenging market environment and negative Deutsche Bank-specific news." In November, the bank's offices in Frankfurt were searched under the suspicion of having helped customers launder money in tax havens.
Deutsche Bank could also face problems in the United States as the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives has initiated investigations into the business relations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank.
Deutsche Bank confirmed last week that it had "received a request from the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees". A spokesperson in Frankfurt said that Deutsche Bank was in "constructive dialogue with these committees to provide them with the best possible support in their supervisory functions."
Deutsche Bank is currently planning a merger with Commerzbank. The European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS), however, is demanding that the new bank must be "profitable," the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday. This would not be the case yet considering the current state of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, the European financial supervisors said.