February 4, 2014 / 5:56 AM / 4 years ago

UBS profit beats forecasts after big tax benefit

ZURICH, Feb 4 (Reuters) - UBS swung to a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, bolstered by a large tax benefit and its investment bank, which returned to the black.

Switzerland’s biggest bank said on Tuesday net profit for the quarter stood at 917 million Swiss francs ($1.02 billion), including a 470 million franc benefit from deferring its taxes.

The net profit figure, compared to a 1.89 billion franc loss a year ago, is nearly three times the 354 million francs analysts expected according to a Reuters poll of 16 banks and brokerages.

UBS said the earnings will allow it to pay shareholders 0.25 Swiss francs a share for the year, two-thirds more than in 2012. UBS repeated a pledge to pay out more than 50 percent of profits once it reaches a key capital target, which is now within striking distance. UBS’s 2013 dividend represents a 30 percent payout ratio.

$1 = 0.9027 Swiss francs Reporting By Katharina Bart. Editing by Carmel Crimmins

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