April 30, 2014 / 6:32 AM / in 4 years

Spain's Popular posts Q1 profit down 40 pct

MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) - Spain’s Banco Popular, the country’s fifth biggest bank by market value, on Wednesday said net profit fell 40 percent to 63 million euros in the first quarter compared to a year ago, as its net lending income fell more than expected.

Popular, which like peers is recovering from a deep recession and a prolonged property market slump, still beat analysts’ expectations for a 55-million-euro net profit in a Reuters poll. It made nearly five times as much in net gains from trading as a year ago.

Popular’s net interest income, or earnings on loans minus deposit costs, dropped 6 percent to 549 million euros compared to the first three months of 2013. Analysts’ averaged predictions had put NII at 581 million euros in the period.

Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Fiona Ortiz

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