Spain's BBVA bank reports lower profits
Spain's second-biggest bank, BBVA, reported on Thursday that first-quarter profits were down 7.3 percent from the equivalent figure last year to 1.15 billion euros ($1.71 billion) but said this was better than for the two previous quarters.
Net interest income -- the difference between interest paid out on deposits and interest earned on lending -- fell 6.2 percent at 3.17 billion euros.
The result was slightly worse was than forecast by analysts contacted by Dow Jones Newswires, which foresaw net profits of 1.06 billion euros.
Like other Spanish banks, BBVA is struggling with an economic downturn, brought about by a collapse of the country's once booming property market in 2008 which has led them to increase provisioning against bad loans.
"Once again BBVA demonstrates its ability to generate solid and recurrent earnings in the present economic environment," the group said.
"The group's net attributable profit in the first three months of 2011 reached 1.15 billion euros, the highest level of the last three quarters.
"Revenues were also higher compared to the previous two quarters.
"Diversification, with more than half its gross income generated in emerging markets, and superior risk management are the main factors supporting the BBVA Group net attributable profit..."
© 2011 AFP