The Spanish bank CaixaBank, which merged in the spring with the also Spanish Bankia and is now the third entity in the country, registered a sharply rising net profit in 2021, driven by asset sales and the reactivation of economic activity.
Throughout the year, the net result of the banking group reached 2,359 million euros (2,625 million dollars), which represents an increase of 71% in comparable terms compared to the figure for 2020 (1,380 million euros).
Taking into account the impact of the integration of Bankia, profit reached 5,226 million euros. This result is very close to the forecasts of the analysts asked by the financial information provider Factset, who projected 5,210 million.
These results reflect the “financial strength” of the group and show that “we have been able to successfully complete the integration of CaixaBank and Bankia,” said its CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, in a statement.
The figures presented should allow “paying more than 1,100 million in dividends in the coming months” to shareholders and make it easier for Caixabank to launch an asset repurchase program, the note specifies.
The merger between CaixaBank and Bankia meant the creation of the first bank in Spain in terms of assets in the national territory, although it is still behind Banco Santander and BBVA in terms of international presence.
The new merged group, which only maintains the CaixaBank name, now has more than 620,000 million assets and 21.1 million customers in Spain and Portugal.
The merger involved an exit plan that initially affected 8,300 employees, but was reduced to 6,500 after negotiations with the unions.
The bank spent 1.8 billion euros to finance this exit plan. The disbursement was offset, in part, by the transfer at the beginning of November of its 9.92% stake in the Austrian bank Erste Group for 1,500 million euros.