Spain's Bankinter posts 31 pct drop in 2012 profit

MADRID Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:13am EST

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MADRID Jan 24 (Reuters) - Spain's Bankinter posted a 31 percent decline in 2012 net profit on Thursday, beating analyst forecasts even as a tough economic backdrop sparked a rise in bad loans and a hit from bad real estate investments.

Net profit came in at 125 million euros ($166 million)compared to a forecast of 117.8 million euros by analysts polled by Reuters, but well below Bankinter's own predictions for a 130 million euro profit for the year.

The mid-sized lender, one of Spain's healthier banks which was less exposed than others to the country's property crash, said its bad loan ratio was 4.28 percent at the end of 2012, up from 4.02 percent at end-September. ($1 = 0.7530 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Tracy Rucinski)