By Giovanni Legorano and Pietro Lombardi
Italian bank UniCredit SpA cut its revenue guidance for the year and said its second-quarter net profit rose sharply, boosted by the sale of the bank's stake in online lender FinecoBank SpA.
The low-interest-rates environment led the bank to cut its revenue guidance for the year to EUR18.7 billion ($20.9 billion), down from a previous target of EUR19 billion.
Net profit for the period was EUR1.85 billion compared with EUR1.02 billion a year earlier, the Italian bank said Wednesday.
On an adjusted basis, which excludes one-offs, net profit grew 0.4% to EUR1.03 billion. Revenue fell 4.6% from the same quarter last year to EUR4.52 billion.
These results compare with analysts' expectations of a net profit of EUR2.23 billion on revenue of EUR4.62 billion, according to a consensus forecast provided by the bank.
"Our second quarter benefited from resilient commercial dynamics and net positive exceptional items," Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier said. "Our achievements over the past three years provide a solid foundation for our next plan."
The result come as the bank, which is Italy's largest, enters the final stretch of its three-year strategic plan and gears up for a new plan to be unveiled in December. They also follow a solid first quarter for which the bank delivered its best results in a decade, boosted by one-off items, lower costs and declining provisions for bad loans.
UniCredit launched the plan when it was one of Italy's most troubled banks to address an array of problems, such as a capital base that had grown too thin, difficulties in bolstering its fee-earning businesses, while low interest rates were hitting its lending activity and Europe's largest stock of bad loans.
It raised EUR13 billion of fresh capital, sold assets, such as Polish lender Bank Pekao SA and asset manager Pioneer, got rid of billions of bad loans and cut costs.
The bank, which has retail businesses in several European countries and an investment banking unit, will complete the plan base on organic growth this year, under the helm of Frenchman Jean-Pierre Mustier.
The CEO pushed through the bank's restructuring after taking over the bank in the summer of 2016, after investors had pummeled the bank's stock due to the bank's mounting problems and major shareholders had grown increasingly convinced that new leadership was needed to restore confidence.
The second-quarter results come also a week after the bank said it was investigating a hacking breach that could be related to a similar incident at Capital One Financial Corp (COF).
The bank said it had contacted the relevant authorities and was actively investigating the matter. Customer data wasn't compromised as a result of the breach, Mr. Mustier told reporters on Wednesday.
The new plan, which will be unveiled on Dec. 3, will envisage a simplification of the bank's processes and product ranges through automation and digitization, according to a memo by Mr. Mustier to staff seen by The Wall Street Journal.
Some media reported that the bank was considering as many as 10,000 job cuts, but that this number could end up considerably smaller. Mr. Mustier said in the memo, which was sent after the media reports were published, that "any evolution of the group...will be handled through early retirement."
The bank said it confirms an adjusted net profit target of EUR4.7 billion for this year and a related 30% cash dividend payout.
Write to Giovanni Legorano at Giovanni.Legorano@wsj.com
and Pietro Lombardi at Pietro.Lombardi@dowjones.com