The Unicaja Banco group had a successful first half of 2018, earning 104 million euros in profit after tax. This represented a 40% increase compared to a year ago, but falls back to a 22.9% rise if only the activities of the core retail banking operation are taken into account.
This is the first time since the Malaga-based financial group floated on the stock exchange last year that a year-on-year comparison of results has been possible. The profit data means that the firm is running at a 5.5% return on equity, and the board's objective is to reach 8%.
Chairman Manuel Azuaga, explained the rise in profits on, "more income-earning operations and a reduction in financing costs".
The good results have also been helped by a reduction in the toxic assets that the group holds, including bad debt and property repossessed by the bank. The bad debt ratio has fallen to 7.6%, a 1.1 percentage point fall on a year ago. In the last 12 months, 23.3% of the toxic assets have left the balance sheet, equivalent to 1.25 billion euros.
Unicaja looks after 44.2 billion euros of clients' money. Some 27.3 billion is on instant access deposits and almost 13 billion in fixed-term deposits. A further 13.1 million is in investment funds, pensions and life assurance. The bank says that people have more money in their bank accounts than a year ago.