They have been years of eliminating risks, divesting dubious assets and gaining profitability and reliability. CaixaBank considers that this path undertaken during the worst times of the crisis is not giving bad results. This is clear from the data presented yesterday by the chairman of the entity, Jordi Gual, and its CEO, Gonzálo Gortázar, during the second presentation of results that the entity has made in Valencia since its headquarters changed after 1-O.
CaixaBank last year won 1,985 million euros, 17.8% more than the previous year, with an improvement of all its margins. The reduction of doubtful assets by 21.7% and the reduction in the default rate to 4.7% (1.3 points less than in December 2017) are two of the reasons that explain the good result of the financial entity.
In addition, the weight of non-strategic assets was significantly reduced with the sale of 80% of the portfolio of foreclosed assets and of the real estate business to Lone Star, the divestment of its stake in Repsol and the reclassification of the stake in the Angolan bank BFA.
But the credit business has not gone bad either. The credit to the companies grew 20% with respect to 2017, the mortgage made it 9% and the consumer credit 14%.
Gual framed the good results of last year in a difficult environment marked by the uncertainties of the "brexit", the trade war between China and the US and the Italian policy with its risk premium. This exercise will depend on how these issues are resolved, and since it is not expected to happen imminently, the growth will be less, although they expect, he said, to be in reasonably good growth.
Despite the good results of the entity, the stock market severely punished the bank, with a drop of 7.22%. The reason, according to experts, is that investors anticipated that the benefits exceeded 2,000 million euros last year.
However, asked in this regard, Gual was prudent and confident that the market will know how to assess the behavior of the entity in the medium-long term.
With regard to the Employment Regulation File that is currently being negotiated with union representatives, they explained that CaixaBank's main challenge now is to reach an agreement with the workers to reduce its workforce by 2,157 people and close to 800 urban offices. Gortázar assured that the management "will leave the skin" to close an agreement.