UBS predicts a 'solid performance' for the rest of 2018 after another rise in quarterly earnings

UBS building

UBS reports its second quarter results for 2018.

Swiss bank UBS announced a net profit of 1.28 billion Swiss francs ($1.29 billion) in the second quarter, a 9 percent increase from a year ago, the bank said Tuesday.

UBS pointed said solid global growth had helped its performance and added that expectations of monetary policy tightening in the U.S. should further support its global wealth management unit, though gradually.

Here are some key highlights:

  • Diluted earnings per share were 0.33 Swiss francs ($0.33)
  • Profit before tax stood at 1.68 billion Swiss francs ($1.69 billion) — up 12 percent year on year
  • Pre-tax profit in its Global Wealth Management unit rose 18 percent from a year ago and UBS' Investment Bank division saw a 26 percent rise

The bank had reported a net profit of 1.5 billion Swiss francs in the first quarter of the year. After the latest earnings, the banking group's CEO Sergio Ermotti told CNBC that he doesn't expect any sharp slow down for the rest of the year.

“I am pleased first of all that we had two consecutive quarters where we reached a return on tangible equity above 15 percent," Ermotti told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche .

"I still stay confident that, like in the last few years, we have been able to mitigate challenging market conditions and deliver good returns to our shareholders. I do believe we will continue to have a solid performance also for the rest of the year," Ermotti added.

Back in April, the Swiss bank had cautioned investors that the second quarter could prove difficult . At the time, Ermotti warned that geopolitical tensions and the rise of protectionism posed threats to investor confidence, which could ultimately dent the bank’s performance.

Such concerns were repeated on Tuesday. UBS said "tough ongoing geopolitical tensions and rising protectionism have dampened investor confidence and remain a threat." The Swiss lender added that muted market volatility has not been very supportive of client activity.

Nonetheless, UBS has managed to meet its share repurchase target for this year. The bank bought back 550 million Swiss francs ($553.45 million) worth of own shares under its three-year goal to buy back up to 2 billion Swiss francs of its shares.

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