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Santander posts 10% profit rise on Brazilian strength

  • Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank by market value, reported net profit of 2.05 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in the first three months of the year.
  • This was slightly above market expectations.
  • CFO Jose Garcia Cantera told CNBC that the bank is seeing a synchronized growth in several important markets.

Banco Santander opened Spain's bank reporting season on Tuesday with a 10 percent rise in first-quarter net profit from a year earlier, beating analysts' forecasts and helped by strong business in its largest market Brazil.

Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank by market value, reported net profit of 2.05 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in the first three months of the year against forecasts of 2.01 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

Speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box Europe, Santander's Chief Financial Officer Jose Garcia Cantera said that the bank is seeing a synchronized growth in several important markets.

"I don't think we have any major headaches now," he said, noting a "very strong performance" in Latin America in the first quarter.

He also said that the business in Spain is going well, where the legal integration with Banco Popular is proceeding as planned. He added that the U.K. economy has managed to defeat the uncertainty regarding the departure from the EU.

"The economy in the U.K. is proving to be very resilient despite the uncertainty and on the back of that, we are growing our mortgage portfolio," he said.

Net interest income, a measure of earnings on loans minus deposit costs, was 8.45 billion euros, up 0.6 percent from a year ago. Analysts expected NII to come in at 8.49 billion.

In Brazil, where it makes about 26 percent of its profits, net profit improved 7 percent on the year.