January 28, 2019 / 7:54 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Spain's Bankia 2018 profit jumps 40 pct despite Q4 loss

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MADRID, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Spain’s Bankia posted an almost 40 percent rise in full-year net profit in 2018, with a pick up in trading offsetting a fourth-quarter loss from the sale of toxic assets as the lender intensified efforts to clean up its balance sheet.

Net profit reached 703 million euros ($802.3 million) in 2018, up from 505 million euros a year earlier, boosted by higher commissions and trading income despite ongoing pressure on lending.

The Spanish government holds a 64 percent stake in Bankia, the country’s fourth largest bank by assets, following a 22.4 billion euro rescue in 2012 during the country’s financial crisis.

Bankia said net interest income, a measure of earnings on loans minus deposit costs, reached 2.01 billion euros in 2018, 9.6 percent lower than in 2017. In the fourth quarter net interest income rose 2.4 percent from the previous quarter to 507 million euros.

Fees and commissions rose 3.4 percent in 2018 to 1.01 billion euros.

Bankia said it reduced non-performing assets by 35 percent in 2018 to 10.9 billion euros, although that had pushed it to a 40 million euro net loss in the fourth quarter.

In December the government extended the sale period of its Bankia stake to the end of 2021. ($1 = 0.8762 euros) (Reporting by Carlos Ruano; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Axel Bugge and Kirsten Donovan)

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