UniCredit profits up 22 percent, best 1Q in a decade

Italy's largest bank by assets, UniCredit, has reported its best first quarter in more than a decade, with net profits up 22 percent to 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

Unicredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier said Thursday the bank's "renewed customer focus" had driven up fees for both investments and transactions by 2.8 percent to 1.75 billion, while net interest remained stable at 2.6 billion euros. First-quarter net profits compared with 907 million euros last year, as the bank cut costs by 5.2 percent to 2.7 billion euros.

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Mustier announced that the bank would accelerate the full write-down of non-performing loans to 2021 from 2025. That will include the sale of 4 billion euros in bad and unlikely-to-pay loans in both core and non-core businesses this year.