The Kutxabank Group obtained a net profit of 332.3 million euros in 2018, 10% more than a year earlier, with a positive contribution from Cajasur of 19.5 million euros, the entity said in a statement.
The delinquency rate stood at 3.86%, one of the lowest in the sector, says the note, after having reduced by almost 500 million doubtful assets. As for credit investment, mortgage loans increased by 22.6%, and within them rose 12.3% financing SMEs and 20% consumption credit; in terms of customer deposits, it increased by 4.9% thanks to the good performance of demand deposits, which increased 10.8%.
The entity highlights the improvement of all the variables related to the business with customers, "which has been favored by a high volume in the new contracting of financial products, by the dynamism of the insurance business, by the positive evolution of net deposits to products off balance sheet and the growth of linked and digital customers. " In this way, the "core" income composed of the Financial margin plus the income from services and insurance, grew by 2% to 1,057 million euros.
Revenue from services and insurance increased by 3.6% to 495.7 million euros, and the insurance business contributed 136 million euros to the gross margin, 10% more.
As in the previous year, the interest margin improved by 0.5% due to the decrease in financial expenses and the stabilization of financial income; the gross margin was 1,088.7 million euros, 1.6% more than in 2017, thanks to the positive evolution of the recurring business.
As regards expenses, operating expenses fell by 4.6%, personnel expenses decreased by 3.4% with respect to the previous year, thanks to the measures to rationalize the workforce and the fall in general expenses. 8.6% -, while the depreciation item increased by 0.4%; Overall, the efficiency ratio stood at 56.3%.
The chairman of Kutxabank, Gregorio Villalabeitia, stressed that the European Banking Authority has recognized, for the fourth consecutive year, the entity as the first in terms of solvency, after leading the stress tests of the European Central Bank (ECB).
The management has proposed to the general meeting of shareholders to maintain the distribution of the dividend at 50%, a total of 166 million euros or 549 million in four years.