Band Jesus Aguado
MADRID, April 21 (Reuters) – Bankinter of Spain BKT.MC said on Thursday that its first-quarter net profit increased by one higher than expected 4% compared to the same period a year ago thanks to a thicker loan book, driven by strong growth in new mortgages.
The country’s fourth-largest bank by market value posted a net profit of 154.3 million euros ($167.4 million) in the January-March period, exceeding the 145 million euros recorded in the first quarter of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a net profit of 125 million euros.
The lender’s loan book grew 8% in the quarter from the same period a year ago on strong business activity “despite enormous geopolitical uncertainty”, he said.
Banks across Europe are under increasing pressure from rising bad debts and historically low interest rates, prompting lenders to look for other areas of growth, such as fees generated in the private bank.
At Bankinter, net interest income (NII), income on loans minus deposit costs, rose 2.6% year on year to 320 million euros, in line with analysts’ forecasts.
($1 = 0.9216 euros)
(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Inti Landauro)
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