Citigroup hails a return to the black

US banking giant Citigroup returned to the black yesterday after posting net income of £6.6bn in 2010.

Citi, which employs 11,000 staff in the UK according to its website and owns credit card brand Egg, posted a net loss of 1bn in 2009.

The bank added that employee pay and benefit expenses were down 2 per cent compared to the previous year, to 15.3bn.

Although the earnings came in under analyst expectations, the figures show Citi has mostly recovered from the losses that drove it to seek a 28.1bn bailout from the US government during the financial crisis.

The results follow better-than-expected figures from rival JP Morgan last week, which reported full-year net income of 11bn for 2010.

The figures mark the first profitable year for Citi since chief executive Vikram Pandit took the helm in late 2007. The bank, the third largest in the US, also posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter – after recording net income of 814m in the final three months. But earnings of four cents a share in the fourth quarter came below the eight cents a share forecast by economists, as revenues dipped 6 per cent to 12.2bn.

Mr Pandit said: "2010 was a year full of milestones and was critical for the turnaround of this institution. Our goal was to achieve consistent profitability and I am very pleased that with our fourth consecutive profitable quarter we earned 10.6 billion US dollars for the year."

Mr Pandit said its core business Citicorp – which includes retail and investment banking – performed well.