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Q4 profits up to $543 million for Spain's Santander despite economic downturn provisions

Spain's Banco Santander says it made a net profit of €401 million ($543 million) for 2012, up from €47 million for the same period a year earlier, but saw its annual total drop by almost 60 percent.

The bank said Thursday its gross income for the period was €10.35 billion, down from €10.63 billion in 2011.

Banco Santander, S.A. said its 2012 net profit fell by 59 percent to €2.12 billion. Over the year it made provisions of €18.8 billion against an economic downturn and toxic real estate loans.

Its non-performing loan ratio last year rose 0.65 percentage points to 4.54 percent. For Spain, it was up 1.25 percentage points to 6.74 percent,

Santander shares Thursday were down 1.56 percent at €6.30 in early trading.

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