1H 2020 results: statement by CEO Carlo Messina

Carlo messina CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo

Although the first half of 2020 was an exceptionally challenging moment, Intesa Sanpaolo achieved the best first-half Net income since 2008, strengthened its balance sheet and opened a new chapter in Group’s history which, together with UBI Banca, will create a new leader in European banking scenario.

CEO welcomes the new colleagues of UBI Banca “together we will create a new leader in European banking that is a fundamental pillar of new growth for Italy.”

The full statement by Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, follows:

“In an exceptionally challenging moment marked by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Intesa Sanpaolo once again demonstrated its ability to achieve its objectives and meet its commitments. The teamwork of our top management and the professional quality of our people make all this appear easy; but it isn’t. My thanks go to them for how they have supported families and businesses with exceptional lending measures, for the continuous care given to protecting our customers' savings and for the extraordinarily strong results achieved.

“Faced with this very challenging environment, we achieved the best first-half Net income since 2008 – at €2.6 billion – meaning we have already delivered 86% of the €3 billion minimum Net income target for this year. If we exclude the nearly €900 million in provisions to cover possible future impact from COVID-19, then Net income actually increased 39% compare to the first half of 2019.

“Revenues were very resilient, with growth in the insurance business. Commissions, hit by the sharp slowdown in the economy and by market volatility, began to recover in June; growth in assets under management accelerated in the second quarter. Costs continued to decline, confirming our leadership position in terms of efficiency among Europe banks.

“We further strengthened our balance sheet, improving our rock-solid capital position and deleveraging NPLs to the lowest level since 2008, reducing the stock by around €6 billion over the past twelve months. New first-half NPLs were at their lowest level ever.

“So it is safe to say that we are very well positioned to continue delivering best-in-class profitability and maintain our rock-solid capital position. Without counting the contribution from UBI, we expect to deliver a Net income of at least €3.5 billion in 2021.

“Now we are opening a new chapter in our Group’s history. Last week, we successfully concluded our offer to UBI shareholders. Launched five months ago, we completed the offer right on time. We are proud that UBI shareholders representing 90.2% of the share capital chose to become part of Intesa Sanpaolo.

“Intesa Sanpaolo and UBI have similar business models and share similar corporate cultures and values. Together, we can reinforce a Group that is a national champion and a leader in Europe, with over €1.1 trillion in customer financial assets.

“Together we are stronger and together we have greater potential for growth. 

Through this operation, we rank at the very top of Eurozone banking: our combined group is #2 by market capitalization, #6 by operating income and #8 by total assets. This is a very significant step forward. 

“Next year, as soon as the macroeconomic scenario becomes clearer, we will provide the market with a detailed Business Plan for the new combined Group. 

“In the meantime, bringing our UBI colleagues on-board is an absolute priority for Intesa Sanpaolo and for me personally. To those colleagues who will become part of the BPER family, I want to say that we will work with BPER's management to do all that we can to ensure that they are treated as a valuable addition to the BPER team. This is our commitment to them.

“UBI has great potential thanks to the quality of its people; they are now a valuable part of our Group.

“The motivation to deliver significant results and be part of growth opportunities is at the heart of the pride in belonging to Intesa Sanpaolo. Recognizing and developing talents, giving them the opportunity to contribute to our common success, is a winning formula. Our new colleagues arriving from UBI can count on these distinctive traits.

“Together we will create a new leader in European banking that is a fundamental pillar of new growth for Italy.”