Citi reveals 2% lower revenue compared to last year in 2021 Q1 earnings report

The financial services company reported lower revenue for the first quarter of 2022 but beat industry estimates.
Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer

Citi announced Thursday its Q1 earnings for the period ending March 31, 2022. The company reported an income of $4.3 billion on revenues of $19.2 billion, with an EPS of $2.02.

According to the press release, the company is focused on investing in its infrastructure, risk and controls, and technology going into 2022. It also cited multiple microeconomic challenges the company will face in the coming months, particularly around the war in Ukraine and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"As you heard at Investor Day, we are focused on our transformation, and we are making the investments in our infrastructure, risk and controls and also in our talent and our culture to modernize our bank and to make Citi a winning firm. I recognize that these investments impact our expenses and our returns in the short run. But I firmly believe that success here will not only lead to satisfying our regulatory obligations, but also to improving our competitiveness and our returns in the medium term," said Jane Fraser, Citi CEO, in the company's earnings call.

The decrease in revenue, according to Fraser, was due to divestitures, investments into technology, and increased expenses. Despite lower revenue, income is up 36% for the quarter. 

"While geopolitics dampened performance in Wealth Management, we are hiring bankers, enhancing our client offerings and continuing to add clients in both the Private Bank and in  Citigold," Fraser said in the press release.

The rise in expenses was mainly due to business-led investments as the company hires client advisors and commercial and investment bankers. The company is also "investing in technology across services, wealth and cards," Mark Mason, Citi CFO, said on the call.

According to Mason, credit card revenue is down 1% due to higher than average payment rates and higher reward costs. However, new credit card accounts and spending volume are both up 24%. He said he expects the company to see low single-digit growth in revenue as well as growth in expenses as the year continues.

"I expect the macro environment to remain unpredictable, to say the least, in the backdrop of the war, which is equally tragic and unnecessary and a persistent pandemic," Fraser said in the press release.

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