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UBS sees net profit grow by 7.0%, announces legal structure overhaul

GENEVA--Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday reported surprisingly strong first-quarter net profits, and announced an overhaul of its legal structure targeted at benefiting shareholders.

For the three first months of the year the bank, Switzerland's biggest, posted a net profit up 7.0 percent to 1.05 billion Swiss francs (US$1.2 billion, 865 million euros).

It thus easily beat the expectations of analysts polled by the AWP financial news agency, who had anticipated a net profit of 855 million Swiss francs for the quarter.

UBS chief Sergio Ermotti and chairman Axel Weber hailed the result as “a solid performance achieved despite a volatile operating environment.”

The bank's sales were meanwhile down 7.0 percent to 7.2 billion Swiss francs, just missing analyst expectations it would rake in 7.3 billion during the January-to-March period.

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