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Monte dei Paschi swings to Q1 profit from year-ago loss

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA swung to a first-quarter net profit of €187.6 million from a €169.2 million year-ago loss.

EPS for the quarter was 17 cents, compared to losses per share of €5.77 a year earlier. Return on equity stood at 7.6%, compared to a negative ROE of 41.6% in the year-ago period.

Net interest income dropped year over year to €421.5 million from €457.4 million. Net fee and commission income also decreased over the period, to €406.5 million from €426.3 million. Total revenues came in at €876.8 million, down on a yearly basis from €933.2 million.

The Italian bank booked a reversal on net impairments on loans and financial assets of €137.9 million, down from €309.1 million a year earlier.

Operating expenses fell on a yearly basis to €572.8 million from €627.5 million. Restructuring and one-off costs amounted to €17.0 million, unchanged from a year ago.

As of March-end, the group's cost-to-income ratio stood at 65.3%, compared to 63.2% at the end of 2017.

Its common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 14.4% at the end of March, compared to 14.8% at 2017-end.

The bank's net nonperforming exposures as of March-end amounted to €13.3 billion, down €6.9 billion year over year, mainly driven by net provisions effected in 2017 on loans subject to securitization stemming from the review of their realizable value. The ratio between net impaired loans and net customer loans dropped to 14.1% as of March-end from 16.3% as of 2017-end.

Coverage of nonperforming exposures was 68.8% at March-end, compared to 65.5% at 2017-end and 54.3% a year ago.