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Santander 2013 profits miss forecasts

Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank, on Thursday fell short of analysts' expectations as it posted a net profit of 4.37 billion euros ($5.96 billion) for 2013, nearly double what it earned the year before as charges on soured real estate exposures fell.

Bank of Santander Headquarters
Getty Images
Bank of Santander Headquarters

The Spanish bank said net interest income - what it makes on loans minus funding costs - was down 13.3 percent compared to 2012 at 25.94 billion euros, below expectations.

In the fourth quarter, Santander said profit rose slightly, up 0.4 percent from a year ago to 1.06 billion euros.

The bank said it was starting a "new era" of strong profit growth after several years of efforts to strengthen its balance sheet and capital.

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