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Citigroup: profit down on higher loan loss reserves

( - Citigroup on Wednesday reported lower quarterly earnings as the New York based bank was significantly hit by the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lender run by Michael Corbat said it managed its expenses with discipline and posted good performance in terms of revenue, but noted that the deteriorating economic outlook will prompt credit losses.

Citi reported first-quarter net income of 2.5 billion dollars, or 1.05 dollar a share, which is 46% below the 4.7 billion dollars, or 1.87 dollar a share, reported in the same period of 2019.

While the group's revenues increased 12% to 20.7 billion dollars from the previous year, primarily reflecting higher revenues in fixed income and equity markets, the cost of credit jumped to 7 billion dollars in the first quarter, compared to just 2 billion dollars a year ago.

The rise reflects the loan loss reserve that was built in the light of Citi's economic outlook, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, it said.

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