Portugal BCP loss smaller than expected, interest income soars

LISBON Mon May 5, 2014 12:16pm EDT

LISBON May 5 (Reuters) - Portugal's largest listed bank by assets, Millennium bcp, posted on Monday a much smaller first-quarter loss than a year ago, and better than expected by analysts, as its net interest income soared 32 percent.

The bottom line was hurt by impairments on bad loans and the high cost of state capitalisation support, but the net loss of 41 million euros ($57 million) came in lower than the 63 million loss expected on average by analysts.

On the bright side, the bank's core overseas units in Poland, Angola and Mozambique had the greatest positive contribution to its results in two years with a profit of 48 million euros, 18 percent higher than a year earlier.

A year ago, BCP's loss was 152 million euros, partly weighed down by its loss-making Greek unit that has since been sold.

Net interest income - the difference between interest charged on loans and interest paid on deposits - rose to 236 million euros despite heavy costs of state recapitalisation loans taken by the bank in 2012 under the country's bailout. (Reporting By Sergio Goncalves and Andrei Khalip)

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