Dutch-Belgian financial services provider Fortis has reported a 2005 net profit of E3.9 billion, reflecting a 32% increase on last year's figure.

The group reported a banking net profit before results on divestments of E2.4 billion, a 53% increase, and a E1.2 billion net profit before results on divestments for insurance, reflective of a 9% increase.

The total proposed dividend, the company said, is E1.16 per share in cash, up 12% from E1.04 for 2004. As an interim dividend of E0.52 per share was paid in September 2005, the proposed final dividend amounts to E0.64 per share.

The group explained that the earlier than expected release of its results was due to the theft of a briefcase which had contained a draft of the annual results release.