Santander's 4th-quarter profit plunges 90% as the bank sets aside higher provisions to weather the pandemic
- Santander’s fourth-quarter profit plunged 90% to 277 million euros ($333.5 million) on Wednesday.
- It posted a record annual loss of 8.77 billion euros ($10.5 billion) after setting aside higher loan-loss reserves.
- The bank still intends to pay the maximum cash dividend allowed in accordance with the ECB.
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Spanish lender Santander posted a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit Wednesday on higher restructuring costs and provisions to weather the impact of the pandemic.
The bank’s quarterly profit fell 90% to 277 million euros ($333.5 million) compared to the same period a year ago, missing the $411 million euros ($494.7 million) estimate of analysts polled by Reuters. However, estimates varied between 102 million euros to 616 million euros.
The bank posted its first ever annual loss of 8.77 billion euros ($10.5 billion) after setting aside one-off charges worth 12.6 billion euros, taking hits on job losses and branch closures.
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Here are the key numbers:
- EPS: €0.008 versus €0.069 estimated
- Quarterly profit: €277 million versus €411 million
- Full year net loss: €8.77 billion versus estimated loss of €8.5 billion
Net interest income rose to 8.02 billion euros ($9.6 billion), beating estimates, and the bank said it expects a rebound in profitability in 2021. The Latin American and North American divisions were the key performance drivers for overall strength, offsetting weakness in Spain and the UK.
Based on the European Central Bank’s recommendation on December 15, Santander said it would pay shareholders a cash dividend of 0.0275 euros ($0.033) per share.
Santander’s stock rose 2.7% in early European trading, as investors looked past the bank’s losses.
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