Swiss banking group UBS has posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of $1.14bn for the first quarter of 2019.

This is a slump of 27% from $1.56bn in the same quarter of 2018.

The group’s adjusted pre-tax profit for the three-month period to 31 March 2019 was $1.57bn, a 21% decrease from $1.99bn last year.

Reported profit before tax plunged 26% to $1.54bn from $2.1bn.

Operating income dropped 11% to $7.22bn from $8.17bn.

Operating expenses dipped 6% year-on-year to $5.67bn.

The bank’s CET1 capital ratio and CET1 leverage ratio were 13% and 3.8%, respectively, at the end of March 2019.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said: “The first quarter of 2019 was characterised by challenging market conditions, which improved towards the end of the quarter and into April.

“We’re on track with the strategic initiatives we announced at our Investor Update last October, as well as the measures we put in place to mitigate market headwinds.

“Benefits from these measures should come in the second half of the year, supporting our attractive capital return plan for the year.”

UBS Wealth Management results

The global wealth management arm of UBS registered adjusted pre-tax profit of $873m for the first quarter of 2019.

This is a decrease of 21% from $1.09bn in the previous year.

The unit’s adjusted operating expenses dropped 5% to $3.13bn from $3.31bn.

This was said to be driven by lower personnel expenses.

Adjusted operating income at the wealth division fell 9% to $4bn from $4.41bn.

Asset Management results

Adjusted pre-tax profit at the group’s asset management business was $109m in the first quarter of 2019, up 2% from $107m in the previous year.

Compared to last year, the unit’s adjusted operating income dropped 4% to $446m while adjusted operating expenses dipped 6% to $337m.

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