2011 Q1 Earnings: UBS Wealth Unit Swings Back to Profit of $126 Million

Operating increased due to higher trading income after last quarter’s $34.6 million loss

UBS Wealth Management Americas, a unit of UBS AG, on Tuesday reported a first-quarter 2011 pre-tax profit of 111 million Swiss francs ($126 million) up from a loss of 33 million Swiss francs ($34.6 million) in the prior quarter.

Net new money at 3.6 billion Swiss francs, or $4.09 billion, improved for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Overall, UBS reported first-quarter net profit attributable to UBS shareholders of 1.81 billion Swiss francs, or $2.06 billion, compared with 1.7 billion francs in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Operating income increased due to higher trading income, particularly in our credit and equities businesses within the Investment Bank, partially offset by lower fees and commissions as well as reduced other income, which included a significant gain from a property disposal in the prior quarter,” UBS reported in a company news release.

Operating expenses increased due to higher personnel expenses, partially offset by lower general and administrative expenses, most notably due to lower charges for litigation provisions. The result was also impacted by a net tax charge, compared with a net tax credit in the previous quarter.

International wealth management reported net inflows of 8.9 billion Swiss francs ($10.1 billion) with net inflows in the Asia Pacific region and emerging markets, as well as globally from ultra high net worth clients.

In Wealth Management, 31% of invested assets were denominated in euros and 31% in U.S. dollars as of March 31. Operating expenses decreased 4% as the previous quarter included a 40 million franc litigation provision and a 40 million franc charge to reimburse the Swiss government for costs incurred in connection with a U.S. cross-border matter.

Last quarter, UBS Wealth Management Americas reported a fourth-quarter 2010 loss of 33 million Swiss francs, about $34.6 million, after putting aside about 152 million Swiss francs for litigation related to its sales of auction-rate securities.

In terms of financial advisors, the group has 6,811 reps compared to 6,796 last quarter. Last year at this time, the group had 6,867 reps.

Read more about UBS in “The New Wirehouse World” at AdvisorOne.com.

For more information on earnings read AdvisorOne’s 2011 Q1 Earnings Calendar for the Financial Sector.

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