Bankia Swings to Quarterly Profit After Record Loss on Bailout

Bankia SA (BKIA), the bailed-out Spanish lender that posted a record 19 billion-euro ($24.7 billion) loss in 2012, swung to a profit in the first quarter after cleaning its balance sheet of soured property loans.

Net income was 74 million euros ($96 million) in the three months to March, Bankia said in a statement from Madrid today, without giving a year-ago figure. The profit beat the average 46.3 million-euro estimate in a Bloomberg survey of four analysts.

Bankia, which got about half of the 41 billion euros in European aid sought by Spain last year, is seeking to increase annual profit to 1.2 billion euros by 2015. The bank, Spain’s fourth-largest, will create the conditions that would permit the government to start selling off its stake as soon as next year, Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said last month.

The Bankia group is taking “its first step on the path towards the generation of value that will allow the state to recoup the money invested,” the lender said today.

Goirigolzarri is seeking to make a profit this year after transferring 22 billion euros in assets to the country’s bad bank and shrinking Bankia’s operations to cut costs.

The BFA-Bankia group, which also includes the parent company, posted after-tax profit of 213 million euros in the first quarter and net profit of 177 million euros.

Shareholders have seen their investments all but wiped out by the conditions of the bailout, which include a recapitalization plan for the bank in which some of its debt will be converted into equity. The shares have lost 97 percent of their value since an initial public offering in 2011.

Net interest income of Bankia fell to 512 million euros in the first quarter from 844 million euros a year ago as the loan book shrank 2.3 percent since December, the lender said.

Bad loans as a proportion of total loans were 13.1 percent in March compared with 13 percent at the end of last year, the lender said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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