Banco Santander’s profits fall
Banco Santander says its first-quarter profits fell 24 percent compared with a year earlier, mainly because of a sharp rise in provisions for non-performing loans. The eurozone’s largest bank as measured by market capitalization said its net profit in the January-March period was 1.6 billion euros (US$2.1 billion). The provisions set aside were 3.1 billion euros, up 51 percent from the same quarter of last year. The bank said it had achieved a core capital ratio of 9.11 percent. European regulators had demanded that banks bring this ratio above 9 percent by June.
Barclays reports profit rise
Barclays posted a 22 percent rise in first-quarter profit, ahead of market forecasts, as a strong rebound in revenue from its investment banking arm and a drop in bad debt countered increased compensation for insurance mis-selling. The British bank reported an adjusted pretax profit of ￡2.45 billion (US$3.96 billion) in the three months to end-March, up from ￡2 billion a year ago and above the average forecast of ￡2 billion from a poll of analysts supplied by the company. The bank said its Core Tier 1 ration remained strong at 10.9 percent, compared with 11 percent at the end of last year.
Chrysler’s Q1 profit jumps
The US automaker Chrysler, which is controlled by Fiat of Italy, yesterday reported a four-fold leap in first quarter profit to US$473 million from US$116 million in the same period a year earlier. Chrysler also confirmed its full-year target of about US$65 billion in sales and a net profit of about US$1.5 billion, a Fiat statement said. The automaker also saw a 25 percent rise in sales to US$16.359 billion and a 55 percent rise in core operating profit to US$740 million.
Unilever raises dividend
Unilever PLC, maker of Lipton teas, Dove soaps and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has raised its quarterly dividend after reporting a 12 percent gain in revenue, beating market forecasts. Unilever said yesterday that total income in the first three months of the year was 12.1 billion euros, helped by the acquisitions of US-based Alberto Culver and Russian cosmetics maker Kalina. Underlying sales, which strip out the impact of acquisitions and disposals, were up 8.4 percent.
Nintendo shows yearly loss
Nintendo Co sank into a ￥43.2 billion (US$532.5 million) loss for the fiscal year just ended, as weak sales of the Wii home console and the strong yen eroded earnings. Kyoto-based Nintendo, once the star of video games with franchises like Pokemon and Super Mario, has seen its glory fade with the advent of smartphones that are wooing away casual gamers. Nintendo, which did not break down quarterly numbers, had reported a ￥77.6 billion profit the previous fiscal year.
Shell’s net profit shrinks
Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday that its net profit sank by almost 10 percent to US$9.89 billion in the first quarter. Profit after tax for the year-earlier period had stood at US$10.98 billion, the Anglo-Dutch company said in a results statement. Revenues increased by 9 percent to US$119.92 billion. However, Shell added that adjusted net profits, stripping out movements in the value of inventories and other non-operating items, rallied by 15.7 percent to US$7.28 billion in the first quarter or three months to March 31.