(Adds breakdown, dividend plans)
MADRID, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Caixabank’s fourth-quarter net profit rose 49% from the same period in 2019 thanks to a more than 400 million euro ($483.92 million) capital gain and a recovery in lending income, the Spanish lender said on Friday.
Caixabank, which last September struck a deal to buy Bankia in a defensive deal against ultra low interest rates and the coronavirus pandemic, reported a net profit of 655 million euros in the October to December period.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected a net profit of 553 million euros.
Overall, the lender’s 2020 net profit still fell 19% to 1.38 billion euros due to higher loan loss provisions set aside to support its books and households against the impact from the pandemic. Analysts expected a net profit of 1.28 billion euros.
Net interest income, or earnings on loans minus deposit costs, rose 1.8% in the fourth quarter from the same quarter in 2019 and 2.5% from the previous quarter to 1.25 billion euros, boosted by corporate lending thanks to state-backed credit lines. Analysts expected NII to come in at 1.22 billion euros.
Caixabank said it would propose to pay a dividend worth 15% of its and Bankia’s 2020 pro-forma results, in line with the European Central Bank’s recommendation.
$1 = 0.8266 euros Reporting by Jesús Aguado, Editing by Inti Landauro