Italy's UniCredit Swings to Net Profit in 'Best' 4Q in a Decade
By Pietro Lombardi
UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI) said Thursday that it swung to a net profit in the fourth quarter from the multibillion-euro loss that it booked last year as it cleaned up its balance sheet.
The Italian lender had a net profit of 801 million euros ($987.9 million) in the quarter, compared with a loss of EUR13.56 billion in the same period last year, when it booked EUR9.59 billion in provisions for bad loans.
Loan-loss provisions stood at EUR772 million in the final quarter of 2017.
Growing net interest income, and fees and commission income both led to a 9.9% increase in operating income to EUR4.84 billion.
"Our stated fourth-quarter net profit of EUR801 million, was our very best fourth quarter in the past decade," Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier said. "Transform 2019 is ahead of schedule and costs were down 4 per cent in the year," he added.
UniCredit said that its fully loaded common equity Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of capital strength, was 13.60% in December, compared with 13.81% in the previous quarter.
UniCredit proposed a cash dividend of EUR0.32 per share, which corresponds to a 20% payout ratio.
The bank confirmed its 2019 targets, including a return on tangible equity above 9%.
Write to Pietro Lombardi at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 08, 2018 01:42 ET (06:42 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.