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BBVA Francés' Q2 profit more than triples

BBVA Banco Francés SA's second-quarter profit more than tripled from the year-ago period, as robust operating results offset a decline in foreign exchange-tied income and a rise in loan provisions.

The Argentine bank, which earlier this year rebranded as BBVA Argentina, reported net income of about 6.78 billion pesos for the three-month period, up 219.2% from 2.12 billion pesos earned a year earlier. Earnings per share surged to 11.1 pesos from 3.5 pesos a year ago.

Net operating income grew 161.2% annually to 20.90 billion pesos as net fee income advanced 111.5% to hit 1.94 billion pesos. Net interest income came to 13.04 billion pesos, up 33.7% from the previous quarter and rising 118.3% from a year earlier.

The bank's bottom line also benefited from 2.12 billion pesos of net income from financial instruments, which rose 426.6% from the prior-year period. However, income tied to foreign exchange differences dropped 34.2% year over year to 1.32 billion pesos.

The net interest margin without foreign exchange differences was 20.0% in the quarter, up from 18.2% in the linked quarter and 11.2% in the year-ago period.

Operating expenses grew 132.7% year over year to 12.13 billion pesos.

Provisions for loan losses, meanwhile, more than doubled to 1.86 billion pesos from 804.2 million pesos a year ago.

Net total loans for the bank reached 186.62 billion pesos at the end of the second quarter, up 15.1% year over year. The bank's asset quality ratio hit 2.66% at the end of the quarter, up from 2.21% in the linked quarter and 0.86% in the year-ago period.

The bank's return on average assets for the quarter doubled yearly to 7.0%, while its return on average shareholders' equity rose to 58.4% from 26.4%.

As of Aug. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 45.45 Argentine pesos.