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February 10, 2010

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UBS net profit beats estimates

SWISS bank UBS AG posted a fourth-quarter net profit of 1.205 billion Swiss francs (US$1.12 billion) yesterday, beating analysts' expectations partly thanks to a tax credit worth 480 million francs.

The result is a significant swing from 2008, when the bank reported a net loss of 9.58 billion francs in the fourth quarter.

It also comes after three consecutive quarterly losses in 2009 and efforts to salvage the bank's reputation among customers leery of its ongoing struggle with bad investments and United States tax authorities.

"We have taken decisive action to transform UBS, and it is now a focused, efficient and resilient firm," Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel said in a statement. "We expect that our return to profitability will increase clients' confidence in UBS and restore our reputation."

On average, analysts had predicted that UBS would report a net profit of 321 million francs in the final quarter.

Net new money - an important indicator of future business - was negative during the fourth quarter. The bank said net new money outflows totaled 56.2 billion francs.

UBS said it expects the investment bank's performance to further improve in 2010.


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