MADRID, April 28 (Reuters) - Spain's Caixabank posted on Friday a 48 pct rise in first-quarter profit from a year before, in its first results to include Portuguese lender BPI, which it took over in February.
Caixabank, Spain's third largest bank, reported net profit of 403 million euros ($437.74 million) in the first three months of the year, beating an average of analysts' forecasts in a Reuters poll of 315 million euros.
Net interest income, a measure of earnings on loans minus deposit costs, was 1.15 billion euros, up 13.1 percent from a year ago.
Caixabank increased its stake in BPI, Portugal's second larges listed lender, to 84.5 percent in February. The takeover marked a step outside Caixabank's Spanish market to offset falling profitability. ($1 = 0.9206 euros) (Reporting by Angus Berwick and Jesus Aguado)