(Bloomberg) -- Vontobel Holding AG said full-year earnings increased after the Swiss bank reported a gain from the sale of a stake in insurer Helvetia Holding AG.
Net income advanced to 264.4 million Swiss francs ($264 million) from 180.1 million francs a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. The result, which includes 91 million francs from the Helvetia stake in November, beat an average estimate of 256.1 million francs by 10 analysts published on Vontobel’s website.
“We already achieved our 2017 targets in the course of 2016,” Chief Executive Officer Zeno Staub said in the statement. “The first few weeks of 2017 are an indication that this will not be an easy year. Political developments, the shift from ‘Quality’ to ‘Value’, and rising U.S. interest rates – and the subsequent impact on emerging markets – will continue to pose challenges for our business.”
Vontobel, which has private wealth, institutional asset management and financial products businesses, expanded by acquiring Vescore Ltd. last year and Twentyfour Asset Management LLP in 2015. The firm, majority owned by a shareholder pool including members of the family of the bank’s founder, has said it could raise 350 million francs to 400 million francs for additional deals.
Investors are paying close attention “to glean any clues on whether Vontobel is closer to deploying its powder” for further deals, Citigroup Inc. analysts including Nicholas Herman and Andrew Coombs wrote in a note to clients on Jan. 27.
Vontobel proposed to increase the shareholder dividend 8 percent to 2 francs share, including a special payout of 0.10 francs, according to the statement.
The shares gained 10 percent last year and are up about 5.3 percent this year through Tuesday.
Considering the “strong performance” of the shares last year, “there could be some profit-taking post the announcement of 2016 results,” Tomasz Grzelak, an analyst at Baader Helvea in Zurich, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.
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