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Banco Santander Q2 profits soar

Spain's largest bank Groupo Santander reported E1.72 billion net profit in the second quarter of 2006, up 26% on the previous year following continued growth in Latin America and at its British group, Abbey.

Net profit for the first half of the year was also up 26% to E3.22 billion and net interest income grew 21% to E5.96 billion.

The total value of loans increased by 18% to E484.4 billion, while managed customer funds and deposits grew by 12% to E709.2 billion. Total operating income was also up 17% to E11.1 billion.

UK lender Abbey, which the group acquired in 2004, added E491 million to net profits, a 40% increase on the previous year. The group attributed the jump in profits to cost-cutting, volume growth in lending and fee income.

Meanwhile, the company’s Latin American operations recorded solid growth across all areas of the business in Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The region contributed E1.15 billion to net income, up 27% on the previous year.

Santander experienced slower growth in continental Europe, the group’s central market, where net profit was up 11% to E1.7 billion.