Banco Santander announced it made attributable profit of €1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2015, at a press conference held at the end of April. This represented a 32% growth on Q1, 2014 figures. Of the ten core markets in which the group operates, only Chile showed a decline in profit. The strong growth was supported by the bank’s three largest markets: Spain, UK and Brazil.
Exchange rates, marked by the euro-dollar and euro-pound depreciation, had a positive impact on growth rates, adding to the favourable trend in the business and in group revenues. Attributable profit for the quarter grew 32%, a change that would have been 22% without the exchange rate effect. Revenues increased 13%, 7% without the exchange rate factor; and lending grew 14%, 7% without the exchange rate variation.
The improvement in profits are a result of an increase in basic revenue of 13%, which sits two points greater than costs, which grew 11%. This performance allowed continued improvement in the efficiency ratio of almost one point, to 47%. Net operating income stood at €6,067 million, with growth of 15%.
Emerging economies (Latin America and Poland) accounted for 42% of profit and mature markets contributed 58%. By country, the largest contribution was from Brazil (21%), followed by UK (20%), Spain (15%), US (10%), Mexico (7%), Chile (5%), Poland (4%), Argentina (3%) and Portugal (2%). Santander Consumer Finance contributed 10% to total profit.