Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit has announced a return to profit in the first quarter of 2014 after last year’s huge balance sheet clean-up.
The bank beat analysts’ expectations with a profit increase of nearly 60 percent.
UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni has been cutting costs and reducing riskier assets, as the European Central Bank reviews lenders across the continent before taking over banking supervision in November.
In the first quarter bad loans fell for the first time since 2008, by 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.
In 2013 the bank had posted a record loss of more than 14 billion euros, the biggest ever for an Italian lender.