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Banco Santander profits up 77pct 2013 to date

Source: El Pais - Thu 24th Oct 2013
Banco Santander profits up 77pct 2013 to date

Santander's earnings jumped in the first 9 months of the year as Spain's leading bank set aside fewer provisions to cover losses, helping to offset ongoing weakness in its domestic market and a fall in the contribution from its operations in Brazil.

The bank said Thursday that its net attributable profit in the period January-September rose 77% from a year earlier to €3.310 Bln despite a fall in outstanding loans of 8.7% to €686.821 Bln.

"After several years of high levels of write-offs in the first nine months of the year, Banco Santander is prepared for a new period of increased profitability," Chairman Emilio Botín said.

However, the core ongoing business painted a less rosy picture as net attributable income in the third quarter rose by only 0.5% from the previous 3 months to €1.055 Bln, while profits from continuing operations declined 1.0% to €1.3 Bln. Net interest income in the 3 months shrank by 6.5% to €6.285 Bln. The bank's non-performing loan ratio increased by 0.25% points from Q2 to 5.43%.

"Earnings looked quite weak, with net interest income down," Bloomberg quoted Benjie Creelan-Sandford, an analyst at Macquarie Bank in London, as saying. "You're still struggling to see any signs of real improvement in underlying asset quality."

Net attributable profit from the bank's Spanish operations fell 51% to €367 Mln, while Brazil's contribution declined 23.6% to €1.277 Bln.

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