UBS saw its net profit rise by 12 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2020, with its asset management and investment banking businesses propelling it through the COVID-19 period.
The group’s net profit came to US$2.8 billion ($3.9 billion) for the half, with its second-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of US$1.2 billion being 11 per cent down on the year before.
The second-half results included net credit loss expenses totalling US$450 million. The group cautioned it is also expecting elevated group credit loss expenses in the second half, but below those seen in the first half.
Earnings per share were US$0.76, up by 15 per cent year-on-year.
The personal and corporate banking segment saw its profit before tax slide by 29 per cent from the previous year to CHF551 million, as credit card and FX transaction income were squeezed.
Meanwhile asset management was up by 38 per cent to US$314 million and the investment bank more than doubled, delivering a profit before tax of US$1.3 billion, up by 108 per cent year-on-year.
Global markets revenue had increased by 34 per cent, due to higher volumes, volatility and credit spread movements, particularly in foreign exchange, rates and cash equities – reflecting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring client activity levels.
UBS global wealth management was the strongest earner, producing a profit before tax of US$2 billion, growing by 21 per cent year-on-year.
UBS group chief executive Sergio Ermotti said the results reflected the resilience and diversification of the company’s business model.
“As we continue to face a challenging environment, we are adapting and accelerating the pace of change, supporting our clients, employees and the economies in which we operate, while remaining focused on our strategic priorities,” Mr Ermotti said.
UBS stated it is reviewing its cash dividends and share repurchases moving forward. It did not give guidance for the full year, but it has an intention to pay out excess capital and “maintain the overall capital returns to shareholders consistent with previous levels”.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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