Banco Santander registered attributable net profit of €5.351 billion in 2011, a decline of 35% from 2010.

Profit would have been €7.021 billion, a decline of 14%, if the bank had not made pretax provisions in the fourth quarter against property exposure in Spain of €1.812 billion and a pretax amortization of €600 million from goodwill related to its businesses in Portugal. The bank also applied net capital gains of €1.513 billion realized in 2011 to other extraordinary provisions.

Provisions against property exposure in Spain increased coverage of on-balance properties from 31% to 50%. Provisions for acquired properties came to €4.278 billion for €8.552 billion in gross on-balance real estate assets.

Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botín said: "Banco Santander has shown it is able to generate results and, at the same time, meet the capital requirements set out by the EBA, significantly increase provisions for property exposure and maintain shareholder remuneration at €0.60 per share for the third consecutive year."

The strengthening of capital ratios and the quality of the balance sheet are due to Banco Santander's ability to realize selective capital gains, without affecting growth in revenues nor the generation of pre-provision profit.

Date: 31.01.2012