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Popular Q1 net income down

Financial services provider Popular has reported net income of $103.3 million for the first quarter of 2008, compared to $118.6 million for the same quarter of 2007.

Basic and diluted earnings per common share for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 were $0.36, compared with $0.41 for the quarter ended March 31, 2007.

Net income for the first quarter of 2008 represented a return on assets of 0.97% and a return on common equity of 12.83%, compared with 1.02% and 12.91%, respectively, for the same quarter of 2007.

Net interest income for Q1 2008 was $2.2 million higher than in Q1 2007. Non-interest income totaled $308 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, an increase of $55.8 million or 22%, compared with the same quarter of 2007.

Richard Carrion, chairman and CEO of Popular, said: Excluding non-recurrent items, the quarter was a difficult one as credit and markets continued to deteriorate. We have reduced our US mortgage exposure but we expect economic conditions to stay under stress.