CaixaBank closed the first quarter of the year with a net profit of 855 million euros, 21.1% more than in the same period of 2022, despite paying 373 million euros for the extraordinary tax on banks.
In a communication to the CNMV, the Spanish stock market supervisor, the bank has released its results from January to March this Friday and has specified that this tax has meant "subtracting 30% of the group's profits".
The bank has attributed the result of this quarter to the commercial dynamism and the strength of the bank's balance sheet, which achieved a return on equity or ROTE of 10.5% at the end of March, compared to 7.6% in the first quarter of 2022 However, the entity has clarified that its profitability is still below the cost of capital.
RECURRING INCOME GROWS 30%
The amount of the interest margin, which reflects the evolution of the typically banking business, reached 2,163 million until March, 48.6% more than in the first quarter of 2022, while the gross margin rebounded by 16.7%, up to 3,101 million, impacted by the bank tax.
The bank has highlighted that core revenues, that is, recurring revenues, derived from the entity's main activity, increased by a further 30.4%, to 3,449 million euros.
Net commissions remained stable (0.1%) and reached 937 million euros, although recurring commissions fell by 1%, due to factors such as the abolition of custody commissions on deposits with large companies and the extension of individual customer loyalty programs.
All in all, these effects were partly offset by the increased activity in means of payment.
The results of entities valued by the equity method, such as bancassurance investees, totaled 79 million, 54.9% more, while the insurance service -a new heading in the income statement resulting from the application of a new accounting regulations- generated 263 million, 23.6% more.
Likewise, the bank received more dividends (68 million in this quarter, compared to one million in the same period of 2022), by registering the entire dividend from Telefónica during the first quarter of the year.
On the other hand, the bank achieved a lower generation of income from financial operations: 82 million (-42.7%).
The bank has clarified that the extraordinary tax on banks had an impact of 373 million on the item other income and operating expenses, so that this heading was negative by 491 million.
All in all, the gross margin grew that 16.7% mentioned, up to 3,101 million euros, and the increase in recurring administration and amortization expenses (2.4%) caused the operating margin to increase by 33.4%, up to 1,659 million euros.
NPL CONTINUES AT LOWS
As for delinquency, it continues at "record low levels" despite the context of inflation and the rise in rates: 2.7%, the same level as at the end of 2022.
Doubtful balances decreased by 243 million in relation to the previous quarter, to 10,447 million euros, after the good evolution of the asset quality indicators and the active management of delinquency.
Regarding provisions for bad debts, they stood at 7,921 million euros at the end of March and the coverage ratio increased to 76%, after rising two points since December (74%), while the cost of risk (last 12 months) stood at 0.26%, compared to 0.23% in the previous quarter.
Regarding customer funds, they amounted to 614,608 million euros at the end of the first quarter and grew by 0.5% in comparison with the previous quarter, thanks to the good evolution of long-term savings products and the recovery of the financial markets, according to the bank.
Specifically, assets under management rose 4.1% quarter-on-quarter, to 154,007 million euros, due to the better situation in the financial markets and having achieved net subscriptions close to 3,800 million.
Regarding healthy credit, it stood at 351,215 million euros at the end of March, after remaining practically stable in the quarter.
By segments, the home purchase portfolio continued to be marked by the increase in repayments in a context of rising interest rates, so that it registered a fall of 1.4%, while the balance of consumer credit rose by 0 .4% and that of companies did so by 1.2%.
All in all, new credit production, in year-on-year terms, increased in all business segments: mortgages (6%), consumption (4%) and companies (21%), CaixaBank highlighted.
Regarding the capital ratios, the CET1 ratio, the highest quality capital, reached 12.6% capital, after the extraordinary impact of the first application of the IFRS 17 accounting standard, which meant a reduction of 20 basis points .
In terms of liquidity, the bank's total liquid assets amounted to 132,867 million at the end of the first quarter.
On the other hand, at the end of the quarter, CaixaBank maintained a drawn balance of the European Central Bank (ECB) policy corresponding to the so-called TLTRO III of 15,620 million euros.
As reflected in the bank's accounts, in this first quarter of the year there were 4,263 branches -without counting branches outside Spain and Portugal or representative offices-, 141 less than at the end of 2022, but the number of employees increased slightly, specifically in 29 people, up to 44,654 people.
In a statement, the CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlighted that the entity has started the year "with very good commercial dynamics in a period in which the economy has shown itself to be more resilient than expected".
Likewise, the bank has highlighted that its profits revert directly to society, given that its two main shareholders are the La Caixa Banking Foundation -through Criteria, which has 32.24%-, which finances its social work with the profits of the bank and other investees, and the State (17.3%), which also receives dividends as the second shareholder. EFE
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