Santander books record earnings in first quarter
Banco Santander, Spain's largest lender, reported a 22.4-percent increase in its net attributable profit to 2.206 billion Euro, the highest quarterly profit in the bank's history.Madrid - Banco Santander, Spain's largest lender, reported a 22.4-percent increase in its net attributable profit to 2.206 billion Euro, the highest quarterly profit in the bank's history.
Earnings were driven by growth in revenues of 19 percent, which outstripped an increase in costs of 6 percent. As a result, net operating income was up 31 percent.
"These results took place against a difficult economic and financial backdrop," the bank said in a statement yesterday.
Santander said there was slower growth in a number of markets where it operates and an increase in non-performing loans, requiring bigger loan-loss provisions, which climbed 69 percent to 1.135 billion Euro. The non-performing loan ratio rose to 1.16 percent from 0.82 percent.
Net income at Santander's Continental Europe division fell 7 percent to 1.224 billion Euro due to a drop in the contribution of wholesale banking as a result of a reduction in corporate transactions in Spain, where the economy is starting to feel the effects of a property market slump and the global credit crunch.
The bank's UK unit Abbey saw a 4-percent increase in net income to311 million Euro, while Latin America contributed 729 million Euro to group earnings, an increase of 7 percent. The ABN Amro assets Santander acquired last year added a net 151 million Euro to earnings.