Switzerland's second largest financial concern, the Credit Suisse Group, says net profit dropped by 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2001 to SFr1.482 billion ($816.9 million), reflecting difficult market conditions over the first three months of the year.This content was published on May 21, 2001 - 14:31
However, the CS Group did see a slight increase in assets under management over the same period to SFr1.366 trillion.
CS Group spokesman Andreas Hildenbrand told swissinfo that the fall in profits had to be seen against a record-breaking performance for the company last year.
"The first quarter of 2000 was very favourable while the first quarter of this year was very challenging - and I think we performed very well against the background of these very challenging market conditions," explained Hildenbrand.
CS Group includes Switzerland's second largest bank, a huge private banking operation as well as investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB).
"The investment banking part of Credit Suisse First Boston, the mergers and acquisitions business and the equity capital market operation were all down in the first quarter," added Hildenbrand. "But on the other hand the fixed income section performed quite well."
In a statement released on Monday, the group said a difficult capital markets' environment would continue to weigh on both its asset management and investment banking units in the second quarter.
"I think the second quarter is also quite challenging regarding market conditions," said Hildenbrand. "I don't expect that we will achieve the results that we had last year, but overall for the full year we still expect good results for 2001."
First quarter profit was also hit by a SFr298 million charge for CS Group's acquisition last year of United States based brokerage Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.
The group said that operating expenses rose 35 per cent, mainly due to that acquisition, but that added cost savings from the deal were set to exceed the targeted $1 billion by the end of 2001.
Overall, net profits at the group in the first quarter of 2001 are still better than most analysts had been predicting.
swissinfo with agencies
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