Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group said Thursday that net profit almost doubled to 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion) in the third quarter, helped by strong returns on financial market trading and investment banking.

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Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group said Thursday that net profit almost doubled to 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion) in the third quarter, helped by strong returns on financial market trading and investment banking.

The figure exceeded analysts’ predictions and compared with a 1.26 billion franc loss during the same period a year ago.

The bank said its return on equity attributable to shareholders was 25.1 percent in the quarter and that it attracted total net new assets of 16.7 billion francs in the period.

“Our third-quarter performance, including our strong return on equity…shows that our approach continues to work well and is providing the foundation for sustainable, high-quality, lower volatility earnings,” said Chief Executive Brady W. Dougan.

Dougan said Credit Suisse has accelerated since last year the implementation of its client-focused business model that reduces risk.

The company has a Tier 1 ratio of 16.4 percent and is positioned to prosper in the new competitive landscape, he said. Brady and Chairman Hans-Ulrich Doerig said in a letter to shareholders that the bank’s capital position was among the best in the industry.

“Our third-quarter performance complemented a strong first half of the year,” said Dougan and Doerig.

The bank said its net revenues for the quarter were 8.9 billion francs, 195 percent higher than the 3 billion francs for the same period last year.

Credit Suisse’s share price nevertheless dropped in early trading Thursday, sliding 2.25 percent to 58.7 francs.

It said its private banking business had a pretax income of 867 million in the quarter, with inflows in international and Swiss businesses.

That is down 7 percent from the second quarter this year, due to a 4 percent drop in net revenues to 2.8 billion francs, mainly due to lower net interest income. The private banking pretax income was up 10 percent on the year.

Private banking had 902 billion francs of assets under management, it said.

The investment banking division reported income before taxes of 1.7 billion francs in the quarter, compared with a loss of 3.2 billion francs in the third quarter of 2008. The current result was a 5 percent improvement over the previous quarter of this year.

The sector’s net revenues were 5.05 billion francs, driven by good results in global fixed income markets, cash equities, and investments in the U.S.

The bank said its asset management unit reported income before taxes of 311 million francs in the third quarter compared with a 109 million franc loss in the same quarter of last year.

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Higgins reported from Geneva.