Julius Baer profit rises; firm to focus on costs

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Julius Baer reported a 19 percent rise in full-year adjusted net profit on Monday and said it would focus on improving cost efficiency in 2014.

The Swiss banking group reported full-year adjusted net profit of 480 million Swiss francs ($529.5 million) on Monday, missing expectations of a 495 million Swiss francs in a Reuters poll, and said adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose by 12 percent to 2.24 Swiss francs.

It said assets under management (AuM) grew 65 billion Swiss francs, or 34 percent, in 2013 to 254 billion Swiss francs. It will propose a dividend of 0.60 Swiss francs per share, to be paid out of the share premium reserve.

"In 2014, our focus will shift to improving the cost efficiency of the rapidly grown business, while not losing sight of our ambition to continuously deliver top-quality advice and services to our growing international base of sophisticated clients," Chief Executive Boris Collardi said in the earnings statement.

The earnings come after a turbulent year for the bank in which ongoing investigations were launched by U.S. regulators for allegedly helping wealthy Americans to evade their tax obligations by offering them hidden Swiss offshore accounts.

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