Banco Santander posted a net profit of 7,810 million euros (about $ 8,900 million) in 2018, 18% more than a year earlier, with Latin America as the group's driver.
As reported today by the bank to the National Capital Markets Commission (CNMV), the Spanish stock market regulator during 2018 grew by 2.6 million linked customers – those who consider Santander its main entity – while digital customers have increased at 6.6 million, to 32 million.
The entity led by Ana Botín made a net profit of 4,228 million euros (US $ 4,831 million) in Latin America, 1.6% less than the previous year, although without the impact of the exchange rates of the currencies of the countries where it operates , the gains would have increased by 16.5%.
Brazil was once again the country that contributed the most to this account, US $ 2,976 million, up 2.4%. Santander Brazil It represented a contribution of 26% for the overall benefit of the group.
In the same way, the area's annual accounts were again affected by the accounting adjustments required by the high inflation condition Argentina, which translated into a profit of 84 million euros (96 million dollars), almost 77% less than in 2017.
"Latin America continues to be an important driver of the Group's growth, with good progress, especially in Brazil and Mexico," Botín said.
In general, the bank's business in Latin America was characterized by the "good evolution" of both the interest margin and the commissions, "as well as the growth of volumes and the greater involvement of the clientele, to which is added" the cost improvement of credit. "
By country, after Brazil, Mexico made a profit of US $ 869 million, 7% more, while Chile earned 614 million euros (US $ 702 million), an increase of 4.9%.
O Grupo Santander also operates in the United States, where it raised 552 million euros (US $ 631 million), 35.4% more thanks to "favorable business evolution" and advances in regulatory issues.
In general, gross loans and advances to the Group's Latin American customers grew by 2.4% in 2018, while customer funds – deposits and mutual funds – increased by 1.3%.
The group's workforce in Latin America grew by 1,182 last year to 90,196, while the branch network was reduced by 105 to 5,803.