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UBS reports first quarter net profit of CHF 1,363 million
UBS reports net profit after tax in first quarter 2002 of CHF 1,363 million, 14% less than the same quarter a year earlier but 23% higher than fourth quarter 2001. Pre-goodwill, and adjusted for gains from the sale of Hyposwiss, profit was CHF 1,574 million, 17% less than the same quarter a year earlier but 10% higher than the fourth quarter 2001. Although the market environment remained difficult, revenues continued to recover, showing the benefit of a diverse business mix.
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UBS achieved first quarter 2002 net profit after tax of CHF 1,363 million, 14% less than the same quarter a year earlier but 23% higher than fourth quarter 2001. Pre-goodwill, and adjusted for gains from the sale of Hyposwiss, profit was CHF 1,574 million, 17% less than the same quarter a year earlier but 10% higher than the fourth quarter 2001. Overall profitability grew for the second consecutive quarter, with every business unit (except UBS Capital) recording quarter-on-quarter growth. The highly successful Swiss domestic banking business again posted record pre-tax profits.
"The market environment remains difficult, but the progress of all our businesses is very encouraging. We continue to see the benefits of our disciplined cost and risk management, our strategic focus and our diverse business mix," said President Peter Wuffli.
Wealth management results proved resilient despite the uncertain sentiment, and UBS Warburg's core Corporate & Institutional Clients unit performed very well - driven by record fixed income results. A large proportion of the Group's drop in profits compared to first quarter 2001 was recorded by UBS Capital, which continues to post disappointing results as wider economic difficulties depress private equity valuations.
Operating income in first quarter 2002 was CHF 9,589 million, down 5% compared to first quarter 2001, but up 13% compared to fourth quarter 2001. Wealth management businesses provided stable growth, with revenue increasing quarter-on-quarter, thanks in particular to growth in asset-based fees. These recurring fees rose both in Private Banking and in UBS PaineWebber, to record levels in the latter. Investment fund fees also hit an all-time high.
General and administrative expenses dropped 9% compared to first quarter 2001 to CHF 1,700 million, their lowest level since the merger with PaineWebber, reflecting deep cuts in marketing, travel and entertainment and technology spending. Personnel expenses rose 1% to CHF 5,317 million on higher performance-related compensation. These costs are managed on a full-year cycle with the fixing of annual performance-related compensation made in the fourth quarter. Headcount discipline continues to make capacity cuts unnecessary and leave scope for strategic investments.
Credit loss expense was CHF 85 million in first quarter 2002 or 3 basis points of the loan book for the quarter, compared to CHF 115 million in fourth quarter 2001 and CHF 136 million in the same period a year earlier. The Group benefited from the improved quality of the Swiss domestic portfolio while UBS Warburg continues to manage risk cautiously and to make effective use of credit protection.
Clients invested CHF 11.8 billion in net new money in first quarter 2002, a satisfactory result given the current market environment and the short term impact of the Italian tax amnesty, which reduced net flows in Private Banking in this quarter by CHF 4.5 billion. The strategic build-up of domestic private banking activities in Italy helped UBS retain nearly half of the CHF 8.4 billion in repatriated assets. UBS PaineWebber, the Group's US private client business, continued to gain market share from its US private client peers and generate strong net new money, capturing CHF 7.4 billion in net new money this quarter. UBS's investment funds continued to attract net inflows.
Performance against Group financial targets:
Pre-goodwill and adjusted for the one-off gain from the sale of Hyposwiss in first quarter 2002:
Annualized return on equity was 15.2%, within the target range of 15-20%, but below the 17.6% achieved in the first quarter a year earlier.
Basic earnings per share were CHF 1.27, 15% lower than the first quarter 2001, but ahead of last year's quarterly average.
As in 2001, UBS performed relatively strongly in the first quarter. The diversity of the Group's revenue streams continues to mitigate the effects of adverse market conditions and low levels of client activity.
Regrouping and management accounting changes
On 29 April, UBS published restated figures for 1999, 2000 and 2001 that reflect its new Business Group structure, which has been effective from 1 January 2002.
UBS also instituted a number of management accounting changes, the foremost being the allocation to the Business Groups and business units of goodwill arising from the merger in 2000 of UBS and PaineWebber.
None of the changes have an impact on the Group Financial Statements for 1999, 2000 and 2001. They only affect the results of the Business Groups and business units. All figures in this quarter reflect the new structure.
Further information on UBS's quarterly results is available in the Investors & Analysts section.
Further information on UBS's quarterly results is available at www.ubs.com/media:
1Q2002 Report (pdf and interactive version)
1Q2002 Results slide presentation
Letter to shareholders (English, German, French and Italian)
Webcast: The results presentation by Peter Wuffli, President of the Group Executive Board,
UBS AG, will be webcast live via www.ubs.com at the following time on 14 May 2002:
0300 US EDT
Webcast playback will be available from 1400 CET on 14 May, with a bookmarked version at 1800 CET the same day.
Zurich/Basel, 14 May 2002