French banking giant Société Générale today reported a net profit for both the fourth quarter of 2008 and the full year despite the devastating financial crisis that has plagued so many lenders elsewhere.

In a statement, the bank said net earnings in the final three months of the year came to €87m, despite the backdrop of the spectacular collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The fall of Lehman in September sent shock waves through the global financial sector and undermined corporate performances worldwide.

For 2008 as a whole, Société Générale said its net profit came to €2 billion compared with €947m in 2007 when it absorbed a €4.9 billion loss it attributed to unauthorised actions by one of its traders, Jerome Kerviel.

But SocGen did not fully escape the impact of the financial crisis, as it was forced to triple its provisions for risky credit to €2.655 billion.