STOCKHOLM (AP) — Banking group Nordea AB says it posted record profits in 2012 as a combination of cost-cutting measures and a larger customer base more than offset bigger loan losses.

The Nordic region's largest banking group says net profit rose 19 percent to €3.1 billion ($4.2billion) while net interest income, its largest source of revenues, rose 5 percent to nearly €5.6 billion.

The bank also says Wednesday that it had net loan losses of €933 million during the year, mainly due to volatility in the shipping industry and Danish housing market.

Nordea says the bank was able to post a "higher profit than ever before" thanks to a financial plan to cope with the increasing difficulties in European economies.

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