February 6, 2020 / 6:26 AM / 20 days ago

UniCredit posts Q4 loss on one-off hits, revenues top forecast

MILAN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit on Thursday posted a lower-than-expected fourth quarter net loss driven by one-off costs and writedowns of problem loans, while meeting its full-year underlying net profit target.

UniCredit has undergone a major restructuring in the past three years under French boss Jean Pierre Mustier, who has slashed costs, dumped bad debts and sold assets, shrinking the bank’s international presence.

His latest such move was the decision in December to pull out of a joint-venture in Turkey, reducing UniCredit’s stake in local bank Yapi Kredi and leaving its hands free for a full exit.

UniCredit, which had indirectly held 40% of Yapi through the JV, on Wednesday said it had sold a further 12% stake in the bank, cutting its holding to 20% in a transaction that will have a negative 0.8 billion euro impact in the first-quarter.

In the October-December period UniCredit booked 1.2 billion euros in one-off charges linked to the initial reduction of its Yapi stake, other costs and writedowns of software and other intangible assets.

It also brought forward 1 billion euros in loan writedowns, leading to a quarterly loss of 835 million euros.

Analysts polled by the bank had expected on average a 1.1 billion euro loss on revenues of 4.65 billion euros.

Fourth-quarter revenues totalled 4.9 billion euros, up 3.4% year-on-year.

Adjusted for one-off items, net profit in the full year hit the bank’s target of 4.7 billion euros.

Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by James Mackenzie

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