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BANCO SANTANDER FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME INCREASES 19.35 PERCENT; OPERATING PROFIT UP 32.46 PERCENT; DIVIDEND INCREASES 11.6 PERCENT

 BANCO SANTANDER FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME INCREASES 19.35 PERCENT;
 OPERATING PROFIT UP 32.46 PERCENT; DIVIDEND INCREASES 11.6 PERCENT
 MADRID, Spain, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Santander (NYSE: STD), the most international of Spain's private banks, had net income of Ptas 20,685 million ($199 million), or Ptas 161.38 per share ($1.55 per ADR), for the first quarter ended March 31, an increase of 19.35 percent over Ptas 17,331 million reported in the same period of the previous year, it was announced today by Emilio Botin, chairman of the Santander Group.
 Financial revenues for the first quarter of 1992 rose 2.70 percent to Ptas 158,577 million ($1.5 billion) from the Ptas 154,404 million in the prior year.
 Operating profit reached Ptas 29,082 million ($280 million), an increase of 32.46 percent. Botin attributed this increase, Santander's highest in four years, to more moderate operating expenses and a 17.13 percent improvement in the financial margin.
 A considerable amount of the increase in financial margin was due to the Group's introduction of the high interest-bearing checking account over 2-1/2 years ago. This product was a major innovation in Spanish banking and has led Santander to capture a substantial and stable base of both customers and deposits. During the quarter, customer deposits, including mutual funds managed by the Group, increased by Ptas 116,685 million ($1.1 billion).
 On April 30, a final dividend of Ptas 110 will be paid. This will bring the total annual dividend for 1991 to Ptas 240, an 11.63 percent increase over the previous year.
 Total average assets rose to Ptas 5,803 billion ($55.9 billion), 8.36 percent higher than the same period of the previous year.
 On the international front, Banco Santander agreed to the sale of Santander Panama in March. This transaction had little strategic effect on the Bank, as the activities of Santander Panama have been steadily reduced over the last two years, Botin said.
 Regarding the bank's capitalization, one of the key points in the strategy of Santander, the chairman emphasized the recent positive reception in the North American capital markets for its placement last year of $225 million of preferred stock with an 8.7 percent coupon, the lowest for any European bank in this market.
 On March 31, 1992, the Group's capital adequacy ratio was 14.39 percent, well above the 8 percent criteria established by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Santander's capital base is one of the strongest of any international bank.
 Botin stressed the strong growth in managed mutual funds, another innovative and high-quality customer service with solid growth potential. Volume of managed mutual funds increased during the quarter by Ptas 184,295 million ($1.8 billion). The Group's market share is now 13.27 percent, the highest of any Spanish financial group.
 The consolidated Santander Group is composed of Banco Santander, 16 additional banks and another 98 companies of various nationalities in which it maintains an ownership position. With over $56 billion of assets, the Bank had net income for 1991 of $777.1 million, an increase of 17.9 percent over the preceding year and has grown more than 20 percent annually during the last five years. For 1991, ROA was 1.36 percent and ROE 20.34 percent. Through a network of over 1,728 offices in 28 countries, the Group provides an effective system to fully meet the individual financial needs of its customers in Spain, and is the largest and most profitable international network among private Spanish banks.
 Each Banco Santander ADR is the equivalent of one ordinary Spanish Banco Santander share.
 Conversion of Spanish pesetas was translated into dollar amounts at the exchange rate of U.S. $1.00 equals Ptas 103.81.
 BANCO SANTANDER
 Consolidated Income Statement
 (Unaudited; amounts in millions)
 Pct.
 Three months ended 3/31/92 3/31/91 Change
 Financial revenues $ 1,527.6 Ptas 158,577 Ptas 154,404 2.70
 Financial costs 1,045.2 108,501 111,650 (2.82)
 Financial margin 482.4 50,076 42,754 17.13
 Other ordinary revs. 152.0 15,778 11,669 35.21
 Operating margin 634.4 65,854 54,423 21.00
 Personnel expenses 229.6 23,830 21,972 8.46
 Overhead expenses and
 taxes other than
 income tax 124.7 12,942 10,495 23.32
 Total operating exps. 354.3 36,772 32,467 13.26
 Operating profit 280.1 29,082 21,956 32.46
 Other operating income 62.6 6,497 11,102 (41.48)
 Extraordinary income 126.4 13,126 18,688 (29.76)
 Depreciation (50.5) (5,244) (3,558) 47.39
 Writedown of investment
 securities (10.7) (1,113) (1,650) --
 Net provisions (131.7) (13,675) (25,783) (46.96)
 Income before tax 276.2 28,673 24,055 19.20
 Provision for income tax 76.9 7,988 6,724 18.80
 Net income 199.3 20,685 17,331 19.35
 Group 173.0 17,952 15,864 13.16
 Minority interests 26.3 2,733 1,467 86.30
 Average total assets $55,898.4 5,802,818 5,354,975 8.36
 U.S. $1.00 equals Sp ptas 103.81
 Technical Note: Items have been adjusted to the new accounting criteria established by the Bank of Spain Circular 4/91 and European Community directives which became effective in January 1992.
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Banco Santander corporate communications, in Madrid, 1-581-3700; or Philip L. Thomas of the P.L. Thomas Group, in Chicago, 312-906-8060, for Banco Santander/
 (STD) CO: Banco Santander ST: IN: FIN SU: ERN


GK-HM -- NY021 -- 1165 04/22/92 10:36 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1992
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