Liberbank obtained a net profit of 110 million euros at the close of the 2018 financial year, against the losses of 259 million euros registered a year earlier due to the impact of the additional provisions for the reorganization of assets of 600 million euros made by the entity during the third quarter of 2017.
The bank chaired by Pedro Rivero, that studies its possible merger with Unicaja, explained on Thursday that the year 2018 has been favored by the dynamism of the typical banking business activity, the growth of the profit and loss account margins and the reduction of costs, as well as the improvement of the balance and the quality of the assets.
Net income from recurring fees increased 4.9% in the year to 175 million euros. The total commissions were 183 million euros. In this regard, net interest income grew by 11.5% to 453 million euros, despite the decrease in results from financial operations, which fell by 62.7% and led to gross margin to reach 640 million euros (-0.9%).
On the other hand, the operating margin increased by 10.7%, standing at 247 million euros thanks to the policy of containment of expenses, which fell by 8% and stood at 357 million euros. The total costs stood at 393 million euros, lower than the 400 million euros set as the target.
Liberbank's balance sheet reached 39,227 million euros at December 31, 2018, representing an increase of 10.6% compared to 35,462 million euros a year earlier.
In this sense, customer funds registered an increase of 4.6%, to 29,628 million euros, with an increase of 4.8% in the balance sheet, reaching the figure of 3,066 million euros, highlighting mainly the impulse of demand deposits, which grow by 6%.
Increase in credit
"Liberbank intensified in 2018 the positive evolution of the main indicators of commercial activity, both in terms of volume and diversification of lines of business and profitability of retail activity," the entity said.
The financing activity registered growth in all segments in terms of credit outstanding, but mainly in companies and in consumer credit to families. The total balance of productive credit stood at 21,949 million euros, 9.1% more.
The financing of productive activities grew by 8.6% to 5.683 billion euros, while the outstanding balance of consumer finance increased by 7.1% to 803 million euros and the mortgage by 4.4%, up to 13,485 million euros.
Late payment below 5%
Liberbank's delinquency rate decreased to 4.94% at the end of the year, compared to 8.6% a year earlier, and the volume of doubtful assets decreased by 758 million euros throughout 2018, up to 1,142 million euros.
Regarding the foreclosed portfolio, Liberbank made sales and transactions for 900 million euros, of which 58% corresponded to land, rural properties and works in progress. In this way, the portfolio of foreclosures at the end of 2018 was 1,960 million, 22.8% lower than the previous year.
Likewise, the Asturian entity increased the coverage levels of non-productive assets to 51%, with an improvement of 243 basis points in the year, with which it advances its balance sheet in view of the possible merger with Unicaja. The process is ongoing and is in the first phase of the purchase audit, in which Mediobanca and Deutsche Bank are advising the entities.