MADRID, July 30 Spain's Banco Popular
on Wednesday posted a 25 percent drop in first half net profit,
beating forecasts even though it hiked provisions against soured
assets as lending revenue fell slightly less than expected from
a year ago.
Popular, Spain's sixth-biggest bank by market value, said
profit was 128.5 million euros ($172 million) in the
January-June period, above of 124 million euros expected by
analysts polled by Reuters.
The bank said net interest income, or earnings on loans
minus deposit costs, was 1.13 billion euros in the first half of
the year, down nearly 9 percent from a year ago.
(Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Julien Toyer)