Citigroup swung to profit this year with a first quarter profit of US$1.6 billion, coming back from massive losses last year of US$18.72 billion, the troubled banking giant said yesterday.
Citi, which needed special help from the US government to weather the financial crisis, returned to the black in the January-March period following a US$5.1 billion loss in the same period last year.
Citi stockholders did not get a slice of the profit because of special share arrangements at the banking group, and took a loss of US$0.18 per share, but this was not as bad as analyst projections of a loss of US$0.34 per share.
“Our results this quarter reflect the strength of Citi’s franchise and we are pleased with our performance,” chief executive Vikram Pandit said. “With revenues of nearly 25 billion dollars and net income of 1.6 billion, we had our best overall quarter since the second quarter of 2007.”
The US government owns a 36 percent stake in Citi following the latest bailout and conversion of special preferred shares to common stock.
Total revenues rose 99 percent from a year ago to US$24.8 billion and the company’s interest margins rose half a point to 3.3 percent.
Citi said that it had trimmed 13,000 jobs since the fourth quarter and 65,000 since peak levels to leave its total workforce at 309,000.
“While we and the industry face challenges in the coming quarters as we work through the weak economy, we will remain focused on strengthening the Citi franchise,” Pandit said.