By Pietro Lombardi
Banco Santander SA’s fourth-quarter net profit rose significantly, beating expectations and helped by one-offs, with the bank strengthening its capital position.
Net profit for the quarter rose 35% to 2.78 billion euros ($3.06 billion), the Spanish bank /zigman2/quotes/202859081/composite SAN -1.09% /zigman2/quotes/205677933/delayed ES:SAN +2.50% said Wednesday.
The results include EUR711 million capital gains, mostly related to the agreement the bank reached with Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) to combine their custody and asset-servicing operations.
On an underlying basis, net profit rose 2% on year.
Revenue for the quarter was EUR12.33 billion.
Analysts had expected net profit of EUR2.59 billion on revenue of EUR12.38 billion, according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet.
For the full year, the bank reported net profit of EUR6.52 billion on revenue of EUR49.23 billion.
The bank’s core tier 1 ratio, a key measure of balance-sheet strength, was 11.65% at the end of December, compared with 11.30% as of September.
“We are well on track to achieve our medium-term goals and expect to deliver high single digit average annual earnings per share growth over the next three years,” Executive Chairman Ana Botin said.
The bank proposed a second dividend for 2019, taking the total dividend for the year to EUR0.23 a share, of which EUR0.20 will be cash.