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Santander Río's Q4'17 profit slips as administrative expenses rise

Banco Santander Río SA posted a net profit of about 1.58 billion Argentine pesos for the fourth quarter of 2017, down 4.7% from the 1.66 billion pesos earned in the year-ago period.

The decline was mainly due to a jump in both administrative expenses and provisions for loan losses, although that impact was partially offset by higher financial margin income and income from services.

The Argentine unit of Banco Santander SA said its quarterly financial margin income grew to 6.08 billion pesos from 4.23 billion pesos a year earlier. Net income from services, meanwhile, rose to 2.21 billion pesos from 1.71 billion pesos.

The bank's administrative expenses jumped to 4.60 billion pesos for the fourth quarter from 2.81 billion pesos in the prior-year period. The company also booked 998.3 million pesos in provisions for loan losses for the quarter, up from 510.1 million pesos a year ago.

Santander Río's total loan portfolio, net of provisions, grew to 166.22 billion pesos at year-end 2017 from 115.36 billion pesos at the close of 2016. Its ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans was 2.37%, compared to 2.25% in the linked quarter and 1.21% a year earlier.

Total deposits, meanwhile, increased 42.1% year over year to reach 233.88 billion pesos at the end of the fourth quarter.

The fourth-quarter results brought the bank's full-year 2017 profit to 5.60 billion pesos, up 8.0% from 2016, driven by an increase of 48.5% in annual financial margin and commission income.

As of Feb. 20, US$1 was equivalent to 19.96 Argentine pesos.