Banco Santander (LSE: BNC) has issued a series of mixed statements this year.
Banco Santander (LSE: BNC) (NYSE: SAN.US) has advanced 7% to 467p so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's better performers in the London market.
Santander, which is Spain's largest bank and has acquired Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester during the last ten years, seems to have impressed investors with a series of mixed statements.
During January, Santander announced 2011 results that showed revenues up 5% to €44 billion, net profit down 35% to €5.4 billion and a dividend sustained at €0.60 per share. Blighting the figures were net insolvency provisions of €10 billion and a further €3 billion of 'extraordinary' provisions relating to Spanish properties.
During April, Santander's first-quarter statement revealed revenues up 8% to €11.3 billion and profits falling 24% to €1.6 billion. The bank explained the shortfall was due to a significant increase in provisions for bad loans, which jumped 51% to €3.1 billion.
However, Santander also declared a €0.15 per share dividend to keep the annual payout running at €0.60 per share.
Then in July, Santander disclosed half-year results that saw profits slump 51% after further write-offs relating to Spanish properties left second-quarter earnings at just €100 million. Santander also suggested a further €2 billion of Spanish property write-downs would be incurred during the second half of 2012.
Nonetheless, Santander highlighted 'pre-provision' profits of €12 billion, up 6%, for the half, while chairman Emilio Botin said:
"The first-half results make us one of the most solid and efficient banks in the world and show we are able to increase revenues and keep costs under control even in a difficult environment. The provisions we are making will allow us to put real estate write-offs in Spain behind us by the end of the year".
Santander's next trading update will be published this week on Thursday, which shareholders will hope will reveal encouraging news that can impress investors.
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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.