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Spain’s Santander says profits up 10.3%

Spanish banking giant Santander posted a 10.3 percent profit rise in the third quarter on Thursday to 1.803 billion euros ($2.5 billion).

The net result was slightly lower than market expectations. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected profit in the July-September period to reach 1.84 billion euros.

A year ago, Santander’s third quarter profit had slumped by 26 percent, punished by new regulations requiring higher provisions.

In the third quarter, net interest income grew by 4.1 percent to 7.7 billion euros, in line with analyst expectations.

But over the first nine-months of 2011, profit dipped by 12.8 percent to 5.303 billion euros, the bank said.

With Spain hit hard by the eurozone debt crisis, Santander said that only 10 percent of profit in the nine-month period came from its domestic market.

After the results, shares in Santander rallied by 4.49 percent in midday trade on a Madrid market up by 3.18 percent.