Santander’s Zachodni Says Profit More Than Doubled on Lending

Bank Zachodni WBK SA, Poland’s third-largest lender and a unit of Banco Santander SA, said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled as higher revenue from lending offset increased provisions.

Net income rose to 404.5 million zloty ($130.1 million) from 198.4 million zloty a year earlier, the bank said in a regulatory statement today. That beat the 371.8 million-zloty mean estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Zachodni’s profit gain comes as banks in Poland brace for lower earnings in 2013. Growth in the European Union’s biggest eastern economy will slow to 2.2 percent this year, according to the government’s forecast, down from an estimated 2.5 percent last year and 4.3 percent in 2011.

Net interest income, the difference between what the bank pays on deposits and what it charges for loans, increased 9.7 percent to 591.8 million zloty. Fees and commissions rose to 364.6 million zloty from 330 million zloty. Bad-loan provisions surged 88 percent to 160.4 million zloty.

Zachodni in December received the financial-market regulator’s approval for a merger with Santander’s other Polish unit Kredyt Bank SA.

Zachodni’s full-year net income totaled 1.43 billion zloty, while Kredyt Bank’s profit was 336 million zloty last year.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.