Banco Santander reported earnings in line with expectations on Wednesday, supported by a solid performance in Brazil and Spain.
The euro zone's largest bank by market value posted attributable net profit of 1.99 billion euros ($2.256 billion) for the three-month period ending Sept. 30. Analysts at data firm Refinitiv had been expecting third-quarter net profit to come in at around 1.98 billion euros.
In the third quarter of 2017, Santander reported net profit of 1.461 billion euros.
"We had a very strong quarter … And our goal going forward is keep the trend that we have seen in this quarter," Jose Garcia Cantera, Chief Financial Officer at Santander, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Wednesday.
Here are the key takeaways:
When asked whether he was concerned about weaker-than-anticipated euro zone GDP figures, Cantera replied: "There are some ups and downs but in the markets that we operate, basically Spain, Portugal and consumer lending in Europe, we see quite positive trends."
"So, yes the economy is not really recovering strongly but it is keeping a relatively good pace and starting to spur good growth in credit."
Growth in the euro zone slowed to its lowest level in over four years, according to data published Tuesday, as the region's recovery appeared to run out of steam.
Euro zone GDP edged 0.2 percent higher for the three month period ending Sept 30. That was down from 0.4 percent at the end of June.
Like Spanish rival BBVA, Santander makes most of its profit overseas, a model that has helped the bank counter a double-dip recession at home in recent years.
In Brazil, where the lender makes over a quarter of its profits, net profit rose 24 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
"We are very positive about the outlook in Brazil," Cantera said.
Meanwhile, the Santander's common equity Tier 1 capital — a key measure of balance sheet strength — came in at 11.11 percent at the end of September. That's up from 10.80 percent in June.
Shares of the bank were up around 2.5 percent during early morning deals on Wednesday.