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Banco Santander's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

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Second, the group’s diversification. At this time, 56% of our profit comes from emerging countries. I remind you that in line with our strategy, we have strong local franchises and we continue to improve our geographic diversification as demonstrated by the latest acquisition in Poland.

And then thirdly, we have continued to bolster our balance sheet significantly in the quarter. We have once again improved our capital ratios whilst under BIS and EBA criteria, we’ve improved our funding structure and our liquidity, improving our loan-to-deposit ratio to 115%. And in credit quality, we compare well with the industry in the main areas where we operate.

Let’s look at each of these points in more detail. We have continued to generate solid revenues in the top part of our P&L are near. And the net operating income in the quarter was at €11.35 billion and this is an important figure, because it sets a new quarterly record for the group and it does show a changed trend with respect to previous quarters, with growth over the fourth quarter backed by most units, mainly Brazil and Mexico, but also Spain, Santander Consumer Finance and the U.S.

And as we will see later, in most cases, the income was purely commercial and hence, more recurring. We also had a good quarter in trading gains. As well as this favorable trend in revenue, we see that cost remained virtually stable over the fourth quarter and this quarter. The net result of all of that is a pre-provision profit of €6.28 billion, which is also a quarterly record, which has enabled us to maintain our excellent track record in that line in our P&L of the last several years in which it has been continuously increasing.

New growth in the quarter puts us again amongst the world leading banks by profit generation, and it makes our P&L extraordinarily solid and we are extraordinarily able to absorb provisions in very demanding economic context. As a result, at a point in this cycle in which there is high need for extra provisioning, we’ve been able to maintain – sustain profits as you see on the right-hand side of the slide. So you can more easily understand the underlying elements, we have subtracted the distorting effect of generic provisions and of the special provision fund we constituted last year in the fourth quarter.

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