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Santander signals start of Spanish turnaround

Santander signals start of Spanish turnaround
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Banking group Santander’s latest results seem to show that the start of a turnaround in the struggling business in its home country Spain.

There was a slight fall in first quarter earnings, but Chairman Emilio Botin said: “Revenues are growing at a good pace throughout the group and in Spain reversed the downward trend of recent quarters.”

He added: “I am convinced this change will continue in the coming months.”

Spanish banks have been struggling with a property crisis which many analysts believe is far from over.

However Santander is now very geographically diversified. Its profit in Spain – which accounts for less than Brazil or Britain – fell 31 percent year-on-year but rose by 54.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Retail Spanish banking makes up 13 percent of Santander’s profit, less than its business in Britain, which accounts up about 17 percent, or Brazil, which contributes one quarter.

Group net profit dropped 4.8 percent to 2.11 billion euros in the first quarter from a year ago, in line with forecasts.