Home Business Unicredit beats expectations: profits tripled in 2021, record dividends

Unicredit beats expectations: profits tripled in 2021, record dividends

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2021 was a year above expectations for UniCredit. The Milanese bank exceeded the ‘guidance for the main financial items’, registering a underlying net profit of 3.9 billioni (tripled compared to 1.3 billion in 2020, guidance was over 3.7 billion), total revenues at 18 billion (+ 4.8%, guidance at 17.5) and unchanged costs at 9.8 billion. In the fourth quarter alone the underlying profit amounted to 810 million from 204 of the same period of 2020.

The Rnet accounting result for 2021 was equal to 1.5 billion, against one loss of 2.8 billion in 2020 and compared to the 1.8 billion envisaged by the consensus drawn up by the company. In the last three months of the year, the group recorded a book loss of 1.4 billion, against the red of 1.2 billion in the same period of the previous year, particularly affected by the impact of the sale of Yapi Kredi in Turkey.

Continuing the analysis of the annual income statement, the interest margin fell by 4% to 9.1 billion and net commissions grew by 12.1% to 6.7 billion. The cost / income ratio fell to 54.6%. In terms of capital solidity, the pro forma Cet1 stands at 14.13%.

Andrea Orcel, number one of UniCredit from 15 April 2021, commenting on the data released by the bank, explained:

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“The excellent results of 2021 are the fruit of incisive actions taken during the year, of the progressive emergence of our corporate culture, of the employee dedicationie of the continuous trust of our customers. We exceeded the targets of the year for revenues, costs and underlying net profit, producing a 7.3 percent RoTE and a sizeable organic generation of capital. We reaffirm our commitment to significantly increase the returns of our shareholders without compromising our strong capital position and we intend distribute to investors, once approvals have been obtained, € 3.75 billion in total, in the form of cash dividends and share buybacks. Even considering this distribution, we ended the year with a pro-forma CET1 ratio of 14.13 per cent. These results are the prelude to what our low capital absorption model will allow us to achieve in 2022 and beyond for the benefit of all our shareholders ”.

The UniCredit board of directors approved the distribution to shareholders of a cash dividend of 1.17 billion, to which they are added share buybacks for 2.58 billion,. It is, underlined the CEO. Andrea Orcel during a conference call with press agencies, with the ‘highest value in the history of the bank’.

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Unicredit: “M&A only if it’s worth it”

On the M&A front, Orcel confirmed the bank’s step backwards with the Russian Otkritie (‘given the political context we have decided to withdraw), but at the same time it reiterated the interest in new business combinations “only if it’s worth it”.

Orcel then reiterated the “stakes” set by the group to evaluate an aggregation, which must ‘accelerate what we are doing and not derail our distribution of capital’. In this context it is our job to evaluate all the opportunities in all the markets we are in and if these opportunities exceed these requirements then they can be done, he added. So we will be able to enter the data room and evaluate transactions because it is the work of the M&A team, but these discussions do not at all mean that we will close these transactions. ‘

As regards Italy in particular, according to Orcel ‘the results are clear’: ‘We do not need to do anything to increase the masses and therefore if there are opportunities that exceed our criteria we will consider them because it is in the best interest of the shareholders’ .

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