Banco Santander has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2012, including a net profit of €1.6bn.
This is 24% less than the €2.1bn it made in the corresponding period last year.
The decline in profitability has been largely attributed to the 51% increase in provisions for non-performing loans (presently at €3.1bn).
Chairman Emilio Botín said that, before provisions are accounted for, profits stood at a record €6.3bn.
Quarterly revenues rose by 8%, year-on-year, to €11.4bn, with costs up 7% to €5.1bn.
The rising revenues and costs led to net operating income of €6.3bn, a 9% increase in Q1 2011 and 13% better than Q4 2012.
Latin America contributed more than half (52%) of the firm’s profits, with Brazil alone contributing 27% (more than the 25% of Continental Europe).