MILANO (Reuters) - Italy’s fifth biggest lender UBI Banca posted better than expected revenues in the first quarter of the year after it increased the rates it charges for customer loans, sending its shares 5 percent higher.
Net interest income - a measure of how much money a bank makes from its core retail business - rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier, ahead of expectations, while net fees and commissions fell slightly.
On Tuesday, Italy’s largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo was the first major Italian lender to publish first quarter results, reporting a 9 percent drop in total revenues and sparking concerns of weak quarterly earnings across the whole industry.
UBI’s revenues for the period were roughly steady at 920.6 million euros, better than an analyst consensus forecast distributed by the bank of 895 million euros.
Net profit fell 30 percent from a year ago to 82.2 million euros, compared with a consensus estimate of 62 million euros, weighed down by charges of 42.6 million euros related to nearly 300 layoffs announced in March.
The bank’s common equity tier 1 ratio, a key measure of financial strength, stood at 11.47 percent at the end of March compared with 11.34 percent at the end of 2018.
Reporting by Andrea Mandalà, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Kirsten Donovan