Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s fourth-quarter profit rose after the company benefited from income growth and an increase in lending, as it launched a new share buyback program off the back of its highest annual profit to date.
The Spanish bank
said Wednesday that net profit in the three months to the end of December was 1.58 billion euros ($1.72 billion), up from EUR1.34 billion in the same period of 2021.
The figure was slightly ahead of expectations of profit at EUR1.54 billion, according to analysts’ consensus provided by the bank.
The company said its annual profit of EUR6.42 billion was its highest to date, as lending rose 13% on year in 2022 as a whole.
BBVA’s gross income, its top-line figure, was EUR6.52 billion for the fourth quarter, up from EUR5.48 billion in the prior year period.
Net interest income–the difference between what banks earn on loans and what they pay clients for deposits–rose 34% on year to EUR5.34 billion, driven by higher lending and repricing of its loan portfolio as interest rates hiked.
The company said it would launch a EUR422 million share buyback program, subject to regulatory authorities.
It posted a final dividend for 2022 of EUR0.31 a share, making EUR0.43 a share for the year.
A new temporary levy on banks passed by the Spanish government would have an impact of EUR225 million in 2023, BBVA said.
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