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Dow Jones Newswires: UBS tops earnings estimate while booking $100 million Russian hit

UBS Group AG posted first-quarter earnings ahead of analysts’ expectations despite a profit hit of about $100 million from its Russia exposure.

The Swiss bank on Tuesday reported a quarterly net profit of $2.14 billion compared with $1.82 billion a year earlier and analysts’ expectations of $1.79 billion, according to a company-provided consensus.

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said the hit to its profit-and-loss accounts from its Russia exposure was about $100 million. At the end of March, its direct exposure to Russia amounted to $400 million, down from $600 million at the end of 2021. It isn’t doing any new business in the country or with Russia-domiciled clients, it said.

Despite UBS’s stronger-than-expected headline result, profit before tax fell 7% at UBS’s key global wealth management unit. As part of its midterm plan, the bank wants to grow pretax profit at the unit by 10%-15%. UBS said transaction-based income dropped, mainly due to lower client activity, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Operating income for the quarter came in at $9.36 billion, up 8% on year. Analysts had expected operating income of $8.83 billion, according to the same consensus.

The bank said it achieved these results in spite of increased uncertainty in the quarter amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Covid-19 lockdowns, a lower economic growth outlook and inflationary pressures.

“Our clients continued to put their trust in us to navigate this environment,” UBS said.

UBS’s investment bank booked a 28% jump in operating income, reflecting a large loss a year earlier.

Write to Cristina Roca at cristina.roca@wsj.com

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