Citizens Financial Group, releasing results for the first time since its initial public offering, said third-quarter profit rose 31% as the bank set aside less money for bad loans. The firm declared a 10-cent quarterly dividend.

Net income climbed to $189 million, or 34 cents a share, from $144 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier, the Providence, R.I., company said Monday in a news release. Adjusted earnings, which exclude one-time items, were 36 cents a share, three cents more than 33-cent average estimate of two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The $131 billion-asset lender, which is still majority-owned by Royal Bank of Scotland Group, raised $3.46 billion last month in one of the year's largest U.S. IPOs as RBS seeks to reduce assets and boost its own capital. Citizens Chief Executive Officer Bruce Van Saun has said his company will focus on improving profitability, which has lagged behind larger regional lenders such as PNC Financial Services Group.

"We continue to make solid progress in key growth areas like auto and student lending, and in capital markets," Van Saun said in the statement.

Provision for credit losses fell 47% to $77 million from a year earlier, while noninterest expense rose 2.8% to $810 million. Revenue increased 0.7% to $1.16 billion as commercial banking revenue climbed to $374 million. Third-quarter net income was reduced by $13 million, or 2 cents a share, amid restructuring charges and costs tied to improving efficiency and separating from RBS, Citizens said.

The bank valued itself at a discount to peers in the IPO. The stock climbed 7.8% to $23.18 through last week after the sale was priced on Sept. 23, compared with a 4.3% decline in the KBW Bank Index of 24 U.S. lenders.

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