Sunday 16 December 2018

UniCredit reveals profit surge as it publishes results early

UniCredit Bank headquarters in Milan. Photo: Reuters
UniCredit Bank headquarters in Milan. Photo: Reuters

Valentina Za

Italy's biggest bank, UniCredit, has reported a third-quarter net profit of €2.82bn boosted by the sale of its Pioneer asset manager.

UniCredit said it had brought forward the publication of its third-quarter results after accidentally releasing some figures relating to the July-September period on Monday afternoon both on its website and in an email to investors and analysts.

It was due to publish third-quarter earnings on November 9.

Excluding the Pioneer sale and another one-off item, UniCredit's third-quarter net profit totalled €838m in July-September, compared with €447m in the same period a year ago.

The bank said fees rose 4pc from a year earlier, though they fell 8pc quarter-on-quarter. UniCredit's net interest and trading income fell both on a quarterly and yearly basis. Under new CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, the bank raised €13bn in a new share issue this year to finance a balance sheet clean-up which entailed offloading €17.7bn in bad debts.

UniCredit said it expected its fully-loaded core capital ratio - a measure of a bank's ability to absorb potential losses - to top 13.5pc at the end of September, up from 12.8pc at the end of June.

Shares in UniCredit were little changed at the open.

"The preliminary results confirmed the ongoing trend of normalisation and we do not expect them to be a driver for the stock," Milan-based broker Banca Akros said, reiterating a "neutral" rating on the stock.

UniCredit said fees rose 4pc in the three months through September from a year earlier, although they were down 8pc quarter-on-quarter.

Trading income fell sharply and net interest income was also down. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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