DUBAI- Samba Financial Grou , Saudi Arabia's third-largest bank by assets, reported a 10 percent rise in 2018 net profit on Wednesday, in line with analysts' forecasts.

The bank made a profit of 5.53 billion riyals ($1.47 billion) for the year, up from 5.02 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.

The average of eight analysts polled forecast the bank would make a net profit of 5.59 billion riyals, according to Refinitiv data. 

The bank attributed its increase in profit to a 7.3 percent climb in net special commission income and other operating income. It was helped by an 8.4 percent fall in operating expenses due to a slide in salary costs, depreciation expenses, credit costs and other expenses.

($1 = 3.7508 riyals)

(Reporting by Tom Arnold Editing by Edmund Blair) ((; +97144536265; Reuters Messaging: