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UBS beats forecasts with official figures

UBS bank surprised analysts on Tuesday with first-quarter figures 83 per cent higher than the previous period with a net profit of SFr2.2 billion ($2.03 billion).

Analysts had been expecting profits of around SFr2 billion.

Preliminary figures released in April had predicted first-quarter pre-tax profit of at least SFr2.5 billion compared with SFr1.2 billion for the last quarter of 2009. Instead, the bank’s updated figures show pre-tax earnings topped SFr2.8 billion.

“We are well positioned to meet our medium-term goals,” CEO Oswald Grübel said in a statement.

Clients withdrew a total of SFr18 billion from the bank during the reporting period. The bank’s wealth management division said net new money outflows amounted to SFr8 billion compared with SFr32.9 billion in the last quarter of 2009.

The global asset management group said outflows slowed to SFr 2.6 billion from SFr11 billion.

The bank’s forecast for coming quarters hinted at market uncertainty with Greek financial woes and “concerns relating to European sovereign debt”.

The bank's CFO, John Cryan, said UBS itself has no significant exposure to Greek, Spanish or Portuguese debt.

"We're sleeping very well at night in relation to sovereign debt throughout Europe," he told reporters in a conference call.

UBS shares were 1.17 per cent higher at SFr17.24 on the Swiss exchange in early trading on Tuesday. and agencies


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