J. Safra Sarasin Group, a Swiss private bank, has reported a net profit of CHF347.3m for the year ended 31 December 2018.

This is an increase of 10% from last year’s figure of CHF315.3m.

Operating income stood at CHF1.21bn, up 2% from CHF1.18bn in the previous year.

Operating expenses increased 3% to CHF671.7m on a year-on-year basis.

The rise was said to be driven by acquisitions as well as integration of new teams.

The bank’s cost income ratio was 55.5% at the end of December 2018, versus 54.8% a year ago.

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Its common equity Tier 1 ratio was 31.8%, as against 28.8% last year.

The bank’s assets under management totalled CHF35.2bn at the end of December 2018, almost unchanged compared to 2017.

Liquid assets maintained by the bank increased to CHF7.1bn from CHF6.8bn.

Total headcount (full-time equivalents) was 2,151 at the end of 2018, stable compared to 2017.

Safra Holdings International (Luxembourg) chairman Jacob Safra said: As we enter 2019, the geopolitical climate and economic environment remain volatile and challenging in many parts of the world.

“Public distrust of several institutions remains high. All sectors continue to face disruption from digitalisation, amidst the growing role of data, algorithms, blockchain and artificial intelligence.”

Despite the challenges, the bank has a positive outlook on this year.

“We are confident that the Group will deliver another solid performance in 2019,” Jacob Safra stated.