UBS shares look set to open in the green Monday, after the Swiss bank reported a stronger-than-expected net profit for the first quarter of 2018. The financial services business said its Wealth Management arm unit helped support gains with a 7% profit increase.
UBS shares closed 0.47% higher at CHF17.20 on Friday. The stock could continue in that direction when the European markets open shortly.
UBS earnings details
The Swiss Bank reported that its net profit in the first quarter of the year was up 19% from a year earlier, to CHF1.51 billion. It’s operating income over the period, meanwhile, was CHF7.64 billion.
That healthy performance came after a strong start to the year from the Wealth Management arm of the bank. UBS achieved CHF19 billion in net new money into its wealth management business during the quarter.
“We had an excellent start to 2018, with our results once again showing the power of our diversified business,” said UBS Group Chief Officer, Sergio P. Ermotti. “Momentum in our business is good and we continue to invest for growth and efficiency.”
The bank also said that it expects “economic global growth prospects will continue to provide a supportive backdrop to markets, even though geopolitical tensions and the rise of protectionism remain a threat to investor confidence.”
It also reminded investors that following this strong first quarter performance, the second quarter will likely prove less buoyant. That’s due to seasonal factors weighing on activity and also because funding costs for the Swiss bank will be higher in Q2 2018 than they were in Q2 2017.
UBS also noted that in January 2018, the bank launched its first 100% sustainable portfolios for its clients. This allows those who wish it, to invest in “positive social and environmental outcomes”.
The new investment options offered by UBS give clients the opportunity to invest in a “new best-in-class shareholder engagement strategy to focus on generating additional social and/or environmental impact through public rather than private equity.”