© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man is reflected in an Itau branch window in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
By Gabriel Araujo
SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazilian lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA reported on Monday that first-quarter recurring net income rose 15% year on year, driven by higher credit volume as its loan book accelerated, and reaffirmed its guidance for the full year.
The country’s largest bank posted a quarterly recurring net income of 7.36 billion reais ($1.45 billion), in line with the 7.35 billion reais expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
It follows peer Banco BTG Pactual SA’s, which posted record quarterly net income and revenue.
The bottom line growth for Itau came even as loan-loss provisions jumped by 57.8% to 6.998 billion reais, it said in a securities filing.
“Our first quarter results show the consistency and sustainability of our performance even in a challenging scenario,” Chief Financial Officer Alexsandro Broedel said.
He added that Itau had all the conditions needed to keep an “extremely robust balance sheet” in 2022.
Itau’s return on equity, a gauge of profitability, was at 20.4% in the quarter – roughly flat from the 20.2% seen in the previous three months, which analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said could indicate “mostly solid trends”, according to an earnings preview.
The bank’s loan book rose 13.9% year on year to 1.03 trillion reais, boosted by secured personal loans such as real estate-related ones and credit cards, which grew about 40% each.
The lender expects its loan book to grow between 9% and 12% in 2022, while the financial margin with clients is seen between 20.5% and 23.5%. Cost of credit was estimated at 25 billion to 29 billion reais.
Despite a nearly 15% slump since mid-April as investors started to walk away from riskier assets such as equities, shares in Itau has risen over 10% year-to-date as per Friday’s closing price.
($1 = 5.0776 reais)