Financial Results

Pictet Reports Solid Half-Year Performance

Jackie Bennion Deputy Editor 2 September 2020

Pictet Reports Solid Half-Year Performance

Net profit dropped slightly for the first six months on strong new inflows and investment performance. The group also announced that it was opening its first mainland China office in the fourth quarter, as it ramps up Asia business.

In unaudited figures released on Tuesday, the Pictet Group reported first half 2020 operating income of SFr1.328 billion ($1.46 billion), up by 4 per cent on the same period last year. Total pre-tax expenses rose by 7 per cent to SFr1.009 billion, leaving net profit down by just 1 per cent for the half year at SFr 262 million. Profits were down by 10 per cent in 2019.

Managed assets at the Swiss firm dropped to SFr559 billion to the end of June, down from SFr 576 billion managed at 31 December 2019.

Up until June 2020, the bank’s core capital ratio (Tier 1) remained at 20.2 per cent based on SFr2.89 billion of Common Equity Tier1 (CET1).  As a measure of capital stability, the figure is above the 7.8 per cent Tier-1 minimum set by Swiss regulator FINMA.

The Swiss group is required to disclose financials after changing its structure to a limited liability holding several years ago.

Despite a “challenging market”, senior managing partner at the group Renaud de Planta said that "strong net new money in the low double-digit billion range and excellent investment performance against benchmarks drove growth in operating income.”

With no investment banking business and no commercial loans to provision for, the Geneva-based manager said it remains geared for expansion, continuing to invest in new staff and technology, expenditure that dented its bottom line last year. “We plan to open offices in Shanghai and New York by the fourth quarter of this year," de Planta said.

The group, managed by seven partners, offers wealth and asset management services through 28 offices globally. Like Swiss rivals Credit Suisse and UBS, it has been ramping up operations and headcount across Asia over the last couple of years to capitalise on UHNW and HNW growth potential. As Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, it has set the goal of doubling revenues in APAC over the next decade (from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of total AuM).

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes