socgen.jpgIt doesn’t seem much to cheer about but Societe Generale investors breathed a sigh of relief when second-quarter net profit only fell 63 percent.

The investment banking unit may have taken a 1.2 billion euro hit but higher profits from its international retail banking and consumer credit businesses offset the damage and kept the group in the black.

In today’s doom-laden markets that was something to celebrate – and the shares jumped more than 6 percent.

It has been the year from hell for the venerable French bank, still in the shadow of the world’s worst rogue trader scandal and struggling – like its peers – with the global credit crunch.

In January, it revealed 4.9 billion euros of losses following rogue deals by junior trade Jerome Kerviel, forcing a 5.5 billion euros rights issue and making SocGen a takeover target in the eyes of many.