UniCredit net profit hit by restructuring costs

MILAN – Italy’s largest bank by assets, UniCredit, says net profit dropped by 21 per cent in the first quarter due mainly to restructuring costs in Italy and Austria.

The bank said Tuesday that its net profit for the first three months of the year was 406 million euros ($462 million), down from 512 million euros a year earlier, while restructuring cost the bank 259 million. It closed 92 branches in the quarter while cutting 500 executive positions in Italy.

CEO Federico Ghizzoni called the performance “more than satisfactory, as reflected in the growth trend of loans and deposits.”

The value of impaired loans shrank by 7 per cent while the bank provided new loans worth 15 billion euros, including 1.4 billion euros in housing mortgages in Italy, nearly double the previous year.