UniCredit profits up 25 percent, best 1Q in a decade

MILAN — Italy's largest bank by assets, UniCredit, posted its best quarter in a decade, with a 25% boost in first-quarter profits as the bank pushes ahead with a reorganization plan that includes deep cost-cutting.

UniCredit said Thursday that the bank's first-quarter profits were 1.39 billion euros ($1.46 billion), up from 1.1 billion euros a year earlier.

The results were posted a day after the bank announced the sale of a 17-percent stake in its Fineco online banking subsidiary for just over 1 billion euros, as it seeks to boost its financial strength ahead of a new business plan in December.

The bank said revenues dipped as higher loan volumes and rates offset higher funding costs of loans, and that fees were pulled down by lower investment fees.

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