Santander says first-quarter profit jumps nearly a third as lending grows
Santander on Tuesday posted a 32 percent jump in first-quarter net profit as the euro zone's biggest bank drew on rising income from lending and fees in key markets such as Britain and Brazil.
The Spanish lender, which makes most of its money outside its home market, was also helped by lower charges against soured debts compared to a year ago, and said a weaker euro against the dollar and the pound had boosted earnings.
It reported net income of 1.72 billion euros (1.25 billion pounds) in the period, in line with expectations.
Santander, under new boss Ana Botin, is trying to ramp up lending across several countries, leaving behind a domestic financial crisis and aiming to deliver much stronger earnings over the next two years.
Botin led a 7.5 billion-euro capital hike at the bank in January to back this push. Santander's net lending across the group rose 8 percent in the first quarter from the end of December.
Net interest income, or earnings from loans minus deposit costs, was slightly higher than expected by analysts, rising 15 percent to just over 8 billion euros in the first quarter from a year ago.
The bank said in a presentation it was on track to meet targets for 2017. It aims for a return on tangible equity (ROTE), a measure of profitability, of 12-14 percent by then, and said ROTE stood at 11.5 percent at end-March.