Spanish Banco Santander, the euro zone’s biggest bank by market value, reported on Wednesday an attributable profit for 2018 of € 7,810 million-up 18 %. In the fourth quarter alone, attributable profit was up 34% to €2,068 million, compared to Q4 2017. Furthermore, Santander has achieved its target of increasing earnings per share by double digits in 2018 with EPS increasing to €0.4 49, up 11.2% compared with 2017. The Group’s executive chairman, Ana Patricia Botín, who has conducted the presentation results, also noted the following highligths of the financial year’s performance:
The Group has completed its three year strategic plan based on customer loyalty, and as a result remains one of the most profitable and efficient banks among its peers, with a return on tangible equity (RoTE) of 11.7 %, and a cost-to- income ratio of 47%. The bank also gained the loyalty of a further 2.6 million customers and increasing lending and customer funds by 4 % in constant euros.
The number of customers using digital services increased by 6 . 6 million to 3 2 million. Attributable profit increased with particularly strong growth in the US (+74%), Spain (+28%), Brazil (+22%) , and Mexico (+14%) .
Credit quality improved further during the year with the Group s non – performing loan (NPL) ratio now at 3.73 %, 35 basis points lower than 31 December 2017 , while the cost of credit has fallen 7 basis points in the same period to 1.00 %. The Group’s fully loaded CET1 ratio reach ed 11. 3 0 % at 3 1 December 201 8, up from 10. 84 % at 31 December 2017, surpassing its 11% goal for 2018 due to strong organic capital generation.