Lower bad loans shore up Unicredit in Q1

AP News
Posted: May 12, 2014 11:25 AM

MILAN (AP) — Italy's largest bank, Unicredit, says lower bad loan provisions helped its net profit rise by 58 percent in the first quarter, in a further sign that the country's economy is stabilizing following years of crisis.

The bank said Monday that its net profit for the first three months of the year was 712 million euros ($979 million), compared with 449 million euros a year earlier. The increase came despite a 3.6 percent drop in revenues to 5.6 billion euros.

The bank said impaired loans fell 1.1 billion euros — the first decline since 2009 — and that it has reduced its cash reserve for bad loans by 28 percent to 838 million euros.

The bank's shares rose 3.4 percent to 6.435 euros.