Italy's UniCredit bank returns to Q4 profits on return to health of Italian operations

UniCredit, Italy's largest bank by assets, returned to a profit in the fourth quarter of 2014, led by an improvement in the domestic market.

The bank posted Wednesday a net profit of 170 million euros ($192 million), compared with a record 15 billion-euro loss in the fourth quarter of last year, when it made huge writedowns on soured investments to clean up its balance sheet.

CEO Federico Ghizzoni says the bank has "successfully completed the turnaround in Italy," noting it had achieved the forecast 2-billion-euro full-year net profit. The Italian commercial bank was the strongest contributor with higher revenues and cost cutting.

For the quarter, UniCredit revenues were up just under 1 percent to 5.6 billion euros, with interest income flat and a slight increase in fees and commissions.