1Q21 net profit of USD 1.8bn, 18.2% return on CET1 capital
Building on client connectivity through advice, solutions and thought leadership in a dynamic environment: Our clients continued to put their trust in us and benefitted from the full spectrum of our business mix and geographical diversification. This, together with favorable market conditions and investor sentiment, led to higher recurring revenues YoY, while strong client activity drove transaction income, as well as an increase in lending across our businesses.
1Q21 financials: PBT was USD 2,298m (up 14% YoY), including net credit loss releases of USD 28m. The cost/income ratio was 73.8%, 1.5 percentage points higher YoY. Operating income increased by 10% YoY, while operating expenses increased by 8%. Net profit attributable to shareholders was USD 1,824m (up 14% YoY), with diluted earnings per share of USD 0.49. Return on CET1 capital1 was 18.2%. The default by a US-based client of our prime brokerage business resulted in an impact on net profit attributable to shareholders of USD 434m.
Our strong capital position supports growth and shareholder returns: The quarter-end CET1 capital ratio was 14.0% (guidance: ~13%) and the CET1 leverage ratio was 3.89% (guidance: >3.7%), both up QoQ. We paid the 2020 ordinary dividend of USD 0.37 per share in April 2021 (USD 1.3bn) and we repurchased USD 1.1bn of shares year-to-date. We will resume repurchasing shares shortly.
Unlocking the power of UBS: We have unveiled our purpose statement: Reimagining the power of investing. Connecting people for a better world. Our purpose – together with our new strategic framework consisting of our vision, client promise, strategic imperatives, and sustainability commitments – maps out the next steps in our firm’s journey.