UniCredit, the Italian bank, has announced its plans to significantly enhance returns to shareholders following a rise in fourth-quarter net profit. The bank intends to allocate €8.6 billion ($9.28 billion) to shareholders for the year 2023, subject to regulatory approvals. This represents an increase of €3.35 billion compared to the previous year and aligns with the bank’s net profit for 2020.

Looking ahead to 2024, UniCredit aims to further increase shareholder distributions to €10 billion. As part of this, the bank will introduce an interim dividend. The final breakdown between dividends and share buybacks will be determined based on market conditions.

In the fourth quarter of last year, UniCredit recorded a net profit of €2.81 billion, up from €2.46 billion in the same period of the previous year. The bank’s revenue also showed promising growth, with a 4.6% climb to €5.98 billion. This was primarily driven by a 5.7% increase in net interest income, compensating for decreases in fees and trading revenue.

According to consensus estimates disclosed by the bank, analysts had anticipated UniCredit’s net profit for the fourth quarter to be €1.21 billion, with revenue projected at €5.56 billion.

Looking ahead, UniCredit anticipates that its net profit for 2024 will be broadly in line with 2023, while projecting a decrease in revenue to approximately €22.5 billion from €23.84 billion in the previous year.

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