Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC) said Wednesday that net profit rose 14.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, as the bank made progress boosting its capital ratio.
Santander, one of Europe's largest lenders, said net profit was EUR1.87 billion ($2.05 billion) in the quarter, compared with EUR1.63 billion a year ago. That beat analysts' estimates that the company would report a net profit of EUR1.75 billion in the latest period, according to a poll by data provider FactSet.
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The Spanish lender said net interest income in the first quarter was EUR8.4 billion, compared with EUR7.62 billion a year earlier. That beat analysts' estimates for net interest income of EUR8.14 billion, according to FactSet.
Net interest income, a key profit driver for retail banks, is the difference between what lenders earn from loans and pay for deposits.
Santander's capital ratio was 10.66% in March, compared with 10.55% in December, under international regulations known as "fully loaded" Basel III criteria. Santander has among the lowest ratios of major European banks and investors are closely watching how it builds capital.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 26, 2017 01:40 ET (05:40 GMT)