Interim profits up 18.4% at Banco Popular

19 July 2007

Banco Popular has posted first-half net profits of $845 million, a rise of 18.4 per cent compared with the year ago period.

Interim net profits for the Spanish bank last year had stood at $713 million.

The performance was slightly ahead of the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had predicted net profits of $833 million.

A statement from Spain's third-largest bank said that net interest revenue was up 12.3 per cent to $1.59 billion, while operating profit was $1.53 billion.

News of Popular's performances comes in the week in which it has announced that it has appointed Jose Maria Lucia Aguirre as its new chief executive officer.

Mr Aguirre, who had been employed at the bank in its risk division, will replace the outgoing Francisco Fernandez Dopico, who is retiring.

Meanwhile, last week Popular announced that it has agreed to acquire US bank TotalBank for $300 million.

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