On 4 May 2022, the Board of Directors of UniCredit S.p.A. ("UniCredit" or "the Group") approved the Consolidated Results of the Group as at 31 March 2022.
The quarter sets a number of records on revenues, costs and net profit, following a very successful 2021 that demonstrates the strong commercial momentum within the business. Excluding the impact of Russia, the Group posted €1.2 billion net profit, resulting in healthy organic capital generation of 44 basis points, net revenues of €4.7 billion, up 7.9 per cent year on year, and cost/income ratio of 47.8 per cent.
In the first quarter the Group prudently booked €1.3 billion Loan Loss Provisions (LLPs) almost entirely against Russia. UniCredit is positioned to incorporate possible spill-over macroeconomic effects6 due to strong capitalisation and asset quality, including sizeable overlay LLPs. Our Cost of Risk, excluding Russia, is confirmed at 30 to 35 basis points for this year and for the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan period. For the first quarter it was almost zero, at 5 basis points, without releasing overlays.
At the April 8th AGM, shareholders approved a total 2021 distribution of €3.75 billion, which includes the already paid €1.2 billion cash dividend plus €2.6 billion in the form of share buybacks. The 2021 first planned share buyback tranche of €1.6 billion has received supervisory approval and is intended to commence as soon as possible, while the remaining €1 billion share buyback5 is subject to Russia performance. The cash dividend and initial share buyback tranche represent a compelling yield of 20 per cent.
The Group's 1Q22 CET1 ratio stood at 14.0 per cent, above the 2022-2024 12.5-13.0 per cent target range, absorbing, already in 1Q22, 92 basis points of capital impact from Russia 9 (of which 50 basis points of participation capital impact and 40 basis points as a result of applying conservative coverage of around 30 per cent on the net cross-border exposure) and the €1.6 billion share buyback. Considering the very strong capital position of UniCredit and the high levels of existing provisions, management remains confident in its ability to execute the full 2021 shareholder distribution of €3.75 billion.
UniCredit confirms its financial guidance for 20228, adjusted for the impact of Russia. This is based on the UniCredit macroeconomic base case scenario of UniCredit footprint GDP growth of around 2.6 per cent in 2022 and 3.1 per cent in 2023, with inflation assumed at 5.9 per cent in 2022 and 2.4 per cent in 2023 10.
The UniCredit Unlocked 2024 financial ambitions of average organic capital generation of 150 basis points, incremental net revenue of c. €1.1 billion and a RoTE of c. 10 per cent are confirmed with positive results already being delivered by combining the three levers of net revenues, costs and capital efficiency. The Bank continues its focus on the execution of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan to fully unlock the value of UniCredit and is committed to deliver attractive and sustainable returns, with the ambition to return at least €16 billion to shareholders by 2024.
The Group is trending well ahead on UniCredit Unlocked targets for environmental lending, ESG Investment Products and Social Lending, and are on track to deliver origination of Sustainable Bonds over the plan.
Key recent events include the following:
- Yapi Kredi disposal concluded, with residual capital impacts to be booked in 2Q22;
- €1.2 billion 2021 dividend paid on 21 April 2022;
- 2021 first share buyback tranche of €1.6 billion approved 11 and expected to commence as soon as possible;
- UniCredit SpA's 'BBB/Positive' issuer rating affirmed by S&P.