Unione di Banche Italiane SpA, Italy’s fifth-largest bank, reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss on provisions for job cuts and its share of costs to wind down four of the country’s lenders.
The net loss narrowed to 45.2 million euros ($51 million) from a loss of 876 million euros a year ago when it wrote off goodwill and intangible assets. That misses the 17.7 million- euro average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The bank proposed increasing the full-year dividend to 11 cents a share.
Chief Executive Officer Victor Massiah is cutting costs and reviewing the lender’s product range to expand in more lucrative markets and offset lower margins from lending. UBI is reviewing possible combinations with other cooperative banks after a new law forced such lenders to turn into joint stock firms.
UBI booked 98.7 million euros in one-time charges, including its share of costs for rescuing four regional banks, a contribution to a deposit-guarantee program and 95 million euros related to job losses agreed to with unions in December. The charges were partially offset by a 75.3 million-euro gain from the sale of its stake in the Italian banking-services provider Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari SpA.
For 2016, UBI expects a lower cost of credit and higher interest margins.
Revenue rose 6 percent from a year earlier to 903.8 million euros, while provisions for bad loans fell 19 percent to 245 million euros. The bank’s fully loaded common equity Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of financial strength, stood at 11.6 percent as of Dec. 30.