MADRID, April 28 (Reuters) - Spain's state-owned lender Bankia posted on Friday a 28 percent rise in first-quarter profit from a year earlier after a fall in lending income was offset by a jump in trading gains.
Net profit for the quarter came in at 304 million euros ($330.27 million), beating an average of analysts' forecasts in a Reuters poll of 230 million euros.
Net interest income, a measure of earnings on loans minus deposit costs, was 504 million euros, down 12.7 percent from a year ago due to pressure from ultra-low interest rates.
In March, the Spanish government gave the green light to merger talks between Bankia and fellow nationalized lender Banco Mare Nostrum (BMN). The banks' boards are expected to approve the tie-up in May. (Reporting by Jesus Aguado; Editing by Angus Berwick)