Italian banking giant Unicredit accidentally published results more than two weeks ahead of schedule

Lucy White
Net operating profit was up 34.4 per cent to €1.2bn (Source: Getty)

Unicredit was left with a red face this morning, as it was forced to admit it had accidentally published its third-quarter results more than two weeks before planned.

Italy's largest bank erroneously uploaded a table to its website yesterday afternoon, containing historical financial results and “preliminary and incomplete” figures for the third quarter of this year.

The same table was sent around to analysts and investors, and Unicredit said the leaked information was “hidden, but accessible”.

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“Having realised the erroneous publication of data, Unicredit promptly removed the two columns in the table,” the bank said in a statement.

The firm has since called an emergency meeting of the board, and published revised preliminary results for the three months ending September 2017. The final third-quarter results will be published on the originally intended date of 8 November.

The preliminary results showed that operating income has shrunk by 3.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, to €4.6bn.

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Net interest income fell 3.5 per cent to €2.5bn, while net fees and commissions were up 4.2 per cent to €1.6bn.

Net operating profit rocketed 34.4 per cent to €1.2bn, while net profit before tax rose 45 per cent to €926m.

Meanwhile, the whole group's net profit rose to €2.8bn. However, although analysts at Northern Trust Capital Markets noted that the results generally looked positive, they warned against putting too much weight on the €2.8bn figure as €2.1bn of the profits came from businesses which have since been disposed of.

Another analyst said that despite slightly weaker revenues, progress in cutting costs should be reassuring.

They added that loan losses looked to be remaining under control, and that a strong capital build should boost confidence in the bank's transformation.

Despite the error, Unicredit's share price was up 0.12 per cent at the time of writing.

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