The banking group, present mainly in Spain, but also in South America, Mexico and Turkey, obtained a profit of 4,650 million euros (5,250 dollars), an increase of 258% compared to the 2020 figure (1,300 million).
These results, obtained thanks to a solid fourth quarter (1,340 million euros of profit), exceed the forecasts of the analysts questioned by Factset, who were considering an average profit of 4,320 million.
“The economic recovery during the past year brought with it a notable rebound in banking activity, mainly in the loan portfolio,” the entity explained.
Excluding non-recurring aspects, such as the impact of the restructuring plan undertaken in 2021, profits reached 5,070 million euros, the highest “in ten years,” BBVA said in a statement published on Thursday.
In 2020, the Spanish bank saw its results plummet 63% due, in particular, to asset depreciation and provisions made to deal with the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2021, the banking group has added a total of 8.7 million new customers, “a record”, thanks mainly to the growth of online activities.
BBVA now has 81.7 million clients worldwide, according to the statement.
The group’s interest margins increased by 6.1% compared to 2020, reaching 14.7 billion euros, said BBVA, which has launched a broad cost reduction policy this year.
In total, 2,935 jobs have been cut and 480 branches have been closed within the framework of this plan, designed to deal with the growing digitization of the banking sector, where fewer and fewer window transactions are carried out.
BBVA, which sold its US subsidiary to the North American group PNC Financial Services at the end of 2020 for almost 10,000 million euros, decided to reinvest part of the money it pocketed by targeting the Turkish market.
The banking group launched a takeover bid for the remaining 50.15% of its Turkish subsidiary Garanti BBVA, for a total amount valued at 2,250 million euros. The closing of the operation is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.