MADRID | Banco Santander registered a net attributable profit of €1.604
billion in the first quarter of 2012, a decline of 24% year on year. Santander, that released Thursday its results for the January-March period of this year, noted that this decline was mainly due to the significant increase in provisions for non-performing loans, which rose by 51% to €3.127 billion.
Banco Santander revenues in the first quarter grew by more than 8% from a year ago to €11.354 billion, while costs grew by 7% to €5.074 billion. The difference between revenues and costs resulted in net operating income of €6.28 billion, up 9% from a year earlier and up 13% from the previous quarter.
The higher growth in revenue than costs led to a 40-basis point improvement in the efficiency ratio, to 44.7%, the best in international banking, Santander said in its report.
BBVA, the other Spanish banking giant reported yesterday that profit for the first quarter of 2012 was €1.005 billion, which is 12.6% less than the same period last year but exceeds that of the two previous quarters. Gross income rose 3.5% to €5.45 billion, supported by solid recurring income in all the regions where the group operates.
The ability to generate capital organically was the key factor in achieving early compliance with EBA’s recommendations, the bank said.
Net interest income, a measure of basic banking business, was highly positive thanks to pricing in all regions and to buoyant activity in emerging markets. This indicator continues its upward trend, rising 13.3% year on year to €3.6 billion in the first quarter compared to 2011. Additionally, recurring gross income, which excludes net trading income and dividend income, continued to climb reaching €5.05 billion (up 12.6% year on year).