Santander profits up 58% in first quarter

Santander has reported a 58 per cent rise in attributable profit to €2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2022, buoyed by resilience in its European businesses.

The Spanish banking giant said that underlying profit increased by 19 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021, supported by growing customer revenues and efficiencies.

Revenues were up 8 per cent in the first quarter.

The group’s return on tangible equity increased to 14.2 per cent, with underlying earnings per share up 22 per cent year-on-year to €0.141, and tangible net asset value (TNAV) per share up 12 per cent to €4.29.

The group said its geographic and business diversification continued to provide a resilient foundation for growth, with all businesses performing strongly and a record profit contribution from Santander CIB.

The bank felt the impact of rising inflation, particularly in South America, which led to an overall increase in costs equivalent to 4 per cent in constant euros.

However, in real terms, the bank said that costs fell by 3 per cent as it continued to improve productivity and connectivity across markets.

As a result, the cost to income ratio was 45 per cent (improving 1.2 percentage points versus full year 2021.

Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chair, said: “Our geographic and business diversification continues to provide a cornerstone for growth and is a key reason why Santander remains among the most efficient and resilient banks in our peer group, with profitability well above our cost of capital.

“Looking ahead, while inflation will affect the pace of global economic growth, with specific impacts varying across our regions and businesses, we are reiterating our 2022 targets, illustrating the benefits of our business model.”

She added: “Our investments are delivering today and will support future growth throughout the business. We are already seeing the benefits of our investment and strategic focus on our Digital Consumer Bank and payments business, PagoNxt, where revenues have increased by 122 per cent.

“I am confident our focus on serving our customers better every day and executing our strategy will allow us continue delivering sustainable growth in EPS, TNAV per share, as well as returning value to shareholders through both cash dividends and share buybacks."

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