UniCredit's fourth-quarter profits triple

22 March 2007

Italian bank UniCredit has announced a three-fold increase in fourth-quarter profits.

The Milan-based firm's net revenues rose to $1.2 billion from $383 million for the same period last year, as the bank exceeded financial analysts' expectations.

The figures equate to a 9.1 per cent year-on-year increase in profit per share to 32 cents.

Growth in domestic lending of 9.6 per cent helped the bank to its strong showing, while earnings from expanding markets in Eastern Europe was also a key contributory factor.

The bank's acquisition of German bank HVB left it well placed to capitalise on the booming economic climate in territories such as Turkey and Poland.

Meanwhile, the fact that Italian banks such as Intesa Sanpolo, Banca Intesa and Banco Popolare di Verona are currently preoccupied with separate mergers and acquisitions is thought to have cleared the way for Unicredit to make domestic gains.

Since the bank announced its profits its shares have risen by 2.8 per cent to $9.30, giving it a market value of $975 billion.

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