March 17, 2020 / 11:29 PM / 17 days ago

Colombia's Grupo Aval posts 4.2% rise in 2019 net profit

FILE PHOTO: People walk in front of the Banco de Bogota, belonging to Grupo Aval, in Bogota, Colombia, October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian financial services company Grupo Aval on Tuesday reported its net profit in 2019 was 3.03 trillion pesos ($739 million), up 4.2% on the previous year, citing an increase in lending.

“(Last year) was the first year in our history where we surpassed 3 trillion pesos in net profit,” the company said in a filing to the Andean country’s financial regulator.

Grupo Aval’s consolidated assets grew 7.4% last year, while the loan portfolio increased 6%, driven by consumer and business loans, as well as mortgages.

However, fourth-quarter net profit fell 15.9% to 715.1 billion pesos, from 850.7 billion pesos in the year-earlier period, the company said in its statement.

The fall in fourth-quarter net profit was mainly explained by a drop in income from its investment portfolio, the company said. Net profit in the final three months of 2019 fell 3.8% compared to the third-quarter of last year.

Grupo Aval consists of banks Banco de Bogota, Banco Popular, Banco AV Villas, Banco de Occidente, Corporacion Financiera Colombiana and pension fund Porvenir.

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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