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Banco Santander Q3 Attributable Profit Surges; Sees Further Cost Savings

Spanish Financial Group Banco Santander S.A. (BNC.L,BSBR,SAN) reported Tuesday that its third-quarter attributable profit was 1.75 billion euros, up 249% from the prior year that included a non-cash goodwill impairment and other charges.

On an underlying basis, profit declined 18 percent. Profit before tax for the quarter was 3.18 billion euros, down 17 percent from the prior year.

Total income declined 11 percent from last year to 11.09 billion euros. At constant exchange rates, income edged up 1 percent.

Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chairman, said, "The recovery of our business is progressing well, and the third quarter was significantly stronger than the second. Revenues increased 18% in constant euros as activity returned close to pre-pandemic levels, loan loss provisions fell 14% and we continued to reduce costs ahead of plan."

The company further said that by the end of 2020, it will have achieved the 1 billion euros cost savings target in Europe it announced in 2019. The company also expects to reduce costs by an additional 1 billion euros over the next two years in Europe.

Looking ahead, the bank said it is confident to deliver underlying profit of 5 billion euros for the full year, with capital remaining at the top end of its11%-12% CET1 target range.

With greater visibility into customer behaviour, the company now expects a better cost of risk at year end than anticipated at the time of 2Q update in July.

The company also said it is confident to be able to resume cash dividends once regulatory conditions allow. As such, the company is seeking shareholder approval for a 0.10 euro per share cash payment to shareholders in 2021, once permitted.

The bank expects its cost of risk will remain stable or trend downwards in 2021, before normalising in 2022.

Net interest income is expected to grow on a constant currency basis due to higher lending volumes, mainly in the Americas,, positive asset repricing and lower funding costs, which will offset lower rates.

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