(MENAFN - AFP) Spanish banking giant Santander, the largest in the eurozone by market value, announced Thursday a leap in third-quarter profits as it recovered from big write-offs a year earlier.
Santander's net profit rose to 1.055 billion euros (1.46 billion) in the third quarter, nearly nine times the 122-million-euro profit reported a year earlier.
At this time last year, it had to set aside 1.14 billion euros in provisions against doubtful property-related assets in Spain.
Santander's net banking income fell 15.5 percent to 6.285 billion euros over the same period.
"After several years of high levels of write-offs and reinforcement of capital, Banco Santander is prepared for a new period of increased profitability," Santander chairman Emilio Botin said in a statement.
Over the first nine months of 2013, Santander posted a net profit increase of 77 percent from the same period last year to 19.66 billion euros. Net banking income dropped 13.9 percent to 19.66 billion euros.
Faced with fragile economies in Spain and the rest of Europe, Santander has focused on emerging markets, especially Latin America, from which it now sources 55 percent of its profits.
Santander said it had boosted the ratio of rock solid core capital on its books to 11.56 of the total capital, up from 10.38 percent a year earlier.
But the ratio of bad loans at risk of not being repaid -- most of them related to the collapsed property market -- rose to 5.43 percent of all credit from 4.34 percent a year earlier.