Unicredit Q1 profit up amid signs of recovery from financial crisis

MILAN – Italy’s largest bank, Unicredit, says lower bad loan provisions helped its net profit rise by 58 per cent in the first quarter, in a further sign that the country’s economy is stabilizing following years of crisis.

The bank said Monday that its net profit for the first three months of the year was 712 million euros ($979 million), compared with 449 million euros a year earlier. The increase came despite a 3.6 per cent drop in revenues to 5.6 billion euros.

The bank said impaired loans fell 1.1 billion euros — the first decline since 2009 — and that it has reduced its cash reserve for bad loans by 28 per cent to 838 million euros.

The bank’s shares rose 3.4 per cent to 6.435 euros.