By Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Commerzbank swung to a better-than-expected fourth-quarter and annual net profit despite undergoing a major overhaul, the German lender said on Thursday, and also painted a rosy outlook for 2022.

Profit this year will exceed 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion), Commerzbank said, beating analyst forecasts. It added that it would pay a dividend for the year.

Results were partly helped by revenue at its CommerzVentures venture capital funds as well as commissions from its securities trading business.

The positive finish to the full year at Germany’s No. 2 bank marks a victory for CEO Manfred Knof, who joined the company at the start of 2021 to carry out a restructuring programme worth 2 billion euros, involving hundreds of branch closures and 10,000 job cuts to get back on a path to profit.

“In the first year of the transformation, we have delivered on our promises. This increases our confidence that we will achieve our ambitious goals for 2024,” Knof said.

The bank’s Frankfurt-listed shares rose 2.9% in early trade.

Commerzbank reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 421 million euros versus a loss of 2.7 billion a year earlier which reflected restructuring charges.

That beat the 81 million euros expected by analysts in a poll provided by Commerzbank.

For the full year, the bank swung to a net profit of 430 million euros from a loss of 2.9 billion.

A provision made at its Polish mBank subsidiary that was announced in January was a drag on the fourth quarter.

Ahead of Thursday’s outlook revision, analysts had expected the bank to post a profit of around 900 million euros, which would be its biggest profit since 2015.

($1 = 0.8807 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jason Neely)