UBS shifts to profit of $696M in fourth quarter

Tuesday, 22. January 2019 07:30

UBS Group AG reported total operating income of $6.97 billion for the last three months of 2018, a decline of 3.3% on an annual basis. The figures released on Tuesday showed operating expenses fell 3.96% to $6.11 billion. Net attributable profit of $697 million compares to the $729 million consensus provided earlier and the loss of $2.39 billion from the same period one year before. The result translates to $0.18 per diluted share against a gap of $0.65 from the previous comparable quarter.

Earnings in the whole of 2018 came in at $4.9 billion or more than five times higher than in 2017, a rise of 408% to $1.27 per share. The bank said it would buy back shares for up to $1 billion (997.7 million Swiss francs) in 2019, after $750 million Swiss francs last year, and propose an increase in dividend of 8% to 0.706 Swiss francs for 2018.

"We've seen some normalization in markets early in 2019, we will stay focused on balancing efficiency and investments for growth, in order to keep delivering on our capital return objectives while creating sustainable long-term value for our shareholders," said Sergio Ermotti, chief executive of the Swiss financial giant. He cited "historically tough market conditions" but also claimed the outlook for economic growth is positive and stressed the rebound in asset prices since the start of January.

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