Spain's Sabadell beats forecasts as Q1 profit falls 36 pct

MADRID, April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:09am EDT

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MADRID, April 25 (Reuters) - Spain's fifth-biggest bank, Banco de Sabadell SA, beat analyst expectations on Thursday as it posted a first-quarter net profit of 51 million euros ($66.4 million), boosted by trading gains and a drop in operating expenses.

Profit was still 36 percent lower than a year ago, but analysts polled by Reuters had projected it would fall closer to 82 percent.

Net interest income, the difference between earnings on loans and payouts on deposits, came in lower than analysts had forecast, but still rose nearly 11 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Sabadell's bad loan ratio jumped to 9.7 percent from 6 percent at the end of December after it bought several ailing lenders.

($1 = 0.7683 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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