It infuriated the bankers, but they avoided quarrels with the government. The unions loved him, but feared the rebound effect; It has alarmed the European Central Bank, which appears to be preparing to send a message to Rome asking for a rethink; It created frictions within the government coalition, and was not strong in proposing (see Forza Italia opposition). We are talking about the tax on additional bank profits, contained in the so-called comprehensive decree published in the Official Gazette on August 10, and about whose future some doubts are beginning to spread. Also because if it really is, as he writes Corriere della Serathe architect of raising prices – and the subsequent decision to introduce the new tax – Christine Lagarde, was supposed to slap the government, and another front with Europe would open before Meloni’s executive.
After all, however, there is no doubt that more than one person toasted by reading the most recent quarterly reports.
INTESA SANPAOLO in 2023 aims to achieve profits above 7 billion
Let’s start with the two big names in Italian credit, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit. The bank led by Carlo Messina ended the first half of the year with a net profit of 4.22 billion (of which 2.27 billion in the second quarter), an increase of 80% compared to the same period in 2022. Good growth in net interest at 6.84 billion (+68.9% yoy) and operating income at 12.4 billion (+15.3% yoy).
Respectable numbers led to Ca’ de Sass forecasting for 2023, according to the note accompanying the accounts, “a significant increase in operating profit, resulting from strong revenue growth driven by net interest (net interest is expected to reach more than €13.5 billion in 2023 and growth more in 2024 and 2025) and through continued focus on cost management.” Meanwhile, “a sharp decline in net loan adjustments is expected, with a consequent growth in net income to over €7 billion.”
Also for the years 2024 and 2025, Intesa Sanpaolo estimated a higher-than-expected net profit for the current year, Last but not leastInterim cash dividends for the results of 2023, not less than 2.45 billion. “This year we will be able to distribute 5.8 billion euros to our shareholders given the May dividend, the second tranche of buybacks and the interim dividend for November,” Messina explained during the conference call with analysts.
Unicredit as Intesa Sanpaolo and 2024 in line with 2023
Slightly higher than Intesa Sanpaolo was the result of Unicredit, which ended the first half of the year with a profit of 4.4 billion (+91.5%), of which 2.3 billion came in the second quarter (above analysts’ estimates, which indicated 1.87 billion euros). In the April-June period, revenue also grew to 5.9 billion (+24.4%), supported – according to the group’s note – by an interest margin of 3.5 billion, up 41.3% year-on-year “thanks to the higher level of interest rates and good management of ‘pass-throughs’ on deposits “.
Also for the Andrea Ursel Institute, the results obtained in the first half of the year prompted an improvement in guidance for the whole of 2023: net profit of more than 7.25 billion, interest margin of at least 13.2 billion and net revenue of more than 21.5 billion. All of this should result in dividends to shareholders equal to or greater than 6.5 billion thanks to “very strong capital generation of up to 210 basis points in the first half of 2023”.
For 2024, he expects the net profit and distribution to shareholders to be “broadly in line with 2023”.
Banco BPM, in the first half, profit close to +80%
Banco Bpm’s semi-annual report wasn’t bad either, with net income up 77.9% year-on-year to €624m. In the second quarter alone, on the other hand, it practically doubled to 359 million, above the 335 million expected by experts. Plus signs also for operating income at 2.6 billion (+13.4% yoy), for interest margin at 1.55 billion (+49.4% yoy) and operating expenses at 1.3 billion (+1.4%).
As with Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit, in light of these figures, the bank led by Giuseppe Castagna has improved its profit target for 2023 to at least 1.2 billion, or 0.8 euros per share, against the previous estimate of 0.75 euros per share. On the other hand, the forecast remained unchanged, increasing for 2024 to €0.9 per share (+12.5%). And soon, with the new Industry Plan arriving by the end of the year, shareholder compensation targets will be updated which will reflect the “positive results achieved in terms of profitability and organic capital creation.”
MBS beats analysts and targets to top 1 billion in revenue
Semi-annual with all the trimmings for Montepaschi, which approached Banco Bpm with a profit of 619 million, an increase of more than 11 times compared to 53 million in the period January-June 2022. Excellent results in the second quarter with profits rising to 383 million (+62.6% During the quarter), much more than the 217 million that experts had expected. As stated in the note accompanying the accounts, this was “the third consecutive quarter of growth in net profit.” And for a bank that’s seen a lot of them in recent years take a lot of risk not being there, not bad.
Reading the accounts, we discover that the interest margin grew to 1.08 billion (+64.4% yoy), revenue to 1.85 billion euros (+19.2% yoy even if commissions fell by 9.1% to 670 million) and income from financial management by 29.1 % to 100.3 million. EBITDA also accelerated to 937m (+95.9% over the year), also thanks to 523m in the second quarter (+26.3% in the first).
Apparently, these calculations also lead Rocca Salimbeni to predict a close of 2023 with strong growth and a pre-tax profit of more than 1 billion. A score higher than the 2026 target of 909 million people set by the 2026-2022 Action Plan. Moreover, during the conference call with analysts, Managing Director Luigi Lovaglio announced “the possibility of offering a dividend based on 2024 earnings.”
BPER’s profit declined (without the intention of CARIGE) but profit is expected at around €1.1 billion
The situation is somewhat different for Bper, which instead in the first six months of 2023 posted a net profit of ₹704.6m, down 49% on the year given that the reputational benefits of Carige had been felt at the time. Revenue grew by 49.5%, operating income by 48.4% to over 2.6 billion thanks to a strong increase in interest margin (+96.7%) to 1.5 billion.
Commenting on Piero Luigi Montagni, Bper’s semi-annual CEO, he highlighted that “the improvement in macroeconomic and interest rate forecasts compared to expectations as well as excellent business performance allows us to increase guidance for 2023 on key metrics it expects to be able to achieve Ordinary net income of about 1.1 billion.”
Mediterranean Bank, analysts assume the best net income in history
Lagarde’s impact is also on Banca Mediolanum which closed the first half of 2023 with net profit up 51% to 363.25 million and net inflows up 8% to 4.69 billion. The interest margin also performed well – at 347.3 million, +107% yoy – thanks to increases in interest rates and the weighting of the variable component in the composition of the Treasury’s loan and securities portfolio, as revealed in the note from the credit institution. And finally, the analysts’ projections: given the trend in interest margin and asset quality, they assume that Banca Mediolanum will close 2023 with its best net profit in history at 737 million.
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