Vontobel H1 profit drops 21% in tough markets

ZURICH, July 28 (Reuters) - First-half net profit at Swiss wealth and asset management group Vontobel VONN.S fell by a fifth as market ructions prompted a small net outflow of client funds, it said on Thursday.

Group net profit slumped 21% to 151.4 million Swiss francs ($158 million), while operating income fell 12%. Net new money slipped 0.8%.

Return on equity retreated to 14.6% from 18.7% in the first half of 2021, but beat the target of at least 14%.

"Despite the current environment, we remain confident that we can achieve our ambitious mid-term targets for 2022 across the cycle, even if we expect pricing pressure and difficult markets to persist in the near future," Chief Executive Zeno Staub said Link in a statement.

Wealth managers, including Swiss peers UBS UBSG.S and Credit Suisse CSGN.S , have also said market turmoil hurt their business in the first half.

Rival Julius Baer BAER.S said this week it would freeze most hiring after higher costs and lower client activity triggered a 26% drop in first-half earnings.

Vontobel's 2022 targets include top-line growth and net new money growth of 4% to 6%, a higher return on equity of more than 14%, a cost to income ratio of less than 72%, a CET1 capital ratio of more than 12%, and a payout ratio of more than half. ($1=0.9589 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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