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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Spanish bank makes bumper profits
Abbey branch
The Abbey deal will create the world's eighth largest bank
The Spanish bank which is buying Abbey made a 2.2bn profit (3.1bn euros)in the first nine months of 2004.

Banco Santander Central Hispano, which is acquiring the UK lender in a 8.5bn deal, said profits including one-off charges rose 64% from 1.3bn last year.

Its profits were boosted by the sale of a 2.5% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland and a smaller stake in Vodafone.

The Spanish bank is due to complete the Abbey deal, which has been approved by both sets of shareholders, next month.

European growth

Spain's largest bank raised 577m from the sale of shareholdings in Royal Bank of Scotland, Vodafone and Japanese bank Shinsei.

Excluding these exceptional items, the bank's profits rose 21% to 1.6bn, beating analysts expectations.

The Spanish company said it had enjoyed strong growth in its core European retail banking operations, where profits rose 18% to 1.09bn.

It also saw growth in Latin America where profits topped 710m.

Banco Santander's acquisition of Abbey - formerly known as Abbey National - still has to be approved by UK and Spanish regulators.

Although it has yet to officially clear the deal, the UK's Financial Services Authority said earlier this month that it saw "no material impediments" to the acquisition.

Banco Santander recently announced that its chief financial officer, Francisco Gomez Roldan, would take over as Abbey chief executive.

Abbey shareholders clear takeover
15 Oct 04  |  Business
Abbey a step closer to takeover
13 Oct 04  |  Business
HBOS abandons bid plans for Abbey
15 Sep 04  |  Business
Abbey bidder will shed 3,000 jobs
23 Aug 04  |  Business
Abbey agrees to Spanish takeover
26 Jul 04  |  Business

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