Criteria CaixaCorp’s net profit increased by 38% in 2010
The industrial holding of the main Catalan savings bank, ‘la Caixa’, made 1,823 million euros of net profit in 2010. Criteria will be the embryo of La Caixa’s new private bank, which will be called CaixaBank.
Barcelona (ACN).- Criteria CaixaCorp made 1,823 million euros of net profit in 2010. This figure represents 38% more than in 2009. La Caixa is Catalonia\u2019s main financial entity and its first savings bank. In addition, a year ago it was the third financial entity within Spain, after the two world giants, Banco Santander and BBVA, and the first savings bank in Europe. Criteria Caixa Corp is La Caixa\u2019s holding that unites the main industrial and financial businesses shares the savings bank has. In order to face the savings bank\u2019s sector reorganisation, La Caixa\u2019s board decided to pass its banking business to a newly created private bank, build on the current Criteria. It will be called \u2018CaixaBank\u2019. In fact, La Caixa\u2019s and Criteria\u2019s boards approved the group\u2019s reorganisation, which will be ready in August. They also approved that Criteria will pay a complementary dividend from the 2010 benefits. Shareholder may receive it in cash or in shares.
Criteria\u2019s profit increase is due, according to the company, to the \u201Chigh quality\u201D of its shares in industrial and financial businesses. These business obtained considerable profits, such as Gas Natural Fenosa. The results from business shares increased by 22% in comparison with 2009 results, and they reach 1,632 million euros. Criteria wanted to emphasise the results from its shares in international banking business, which reached 283 million euros, a 65% more than in 2009. The insurance business also improved its results by 25%, reaching 267 million euros. Finally, the shares in service businesses brought 1,059 million euros, 8% more than last year.
The extraordinary results were 399 million euros in 2010, thanks to disinvestments made in service businesses, such as 0.86% of Repsol, 0.74% of Gas Natural Fenosa, 0.44% of Abertis and 0.282% of Telefónica. Globally they represent 588 million euros of revenues, with a benefit of 162 million euros. Besides, Criteria\u2019s net debt represents 5,816 million euros.
The Catalan company will pay an extraordinary dividend to its shareholders from the 2010. If the Shareholder Council approves it in May, Criteria will pay 0.051 euros per share. The shareholders will be able to receive it in cash or in company shares. This way, the retribution to the shareholder for the 2010 operations will be 0.311 euros per share.
The boards approve the group\u2019s reorganisation
La Caixa\u2019s and Criteria\u2019s boards approved the group\u2019s reorganisation, which will pass all the banking business to Criteria. This way, Criteria will be transformed into a bank, and will be called CaixaBank. \u2018La Caixa\u2019 will have 81.1% of CaixaBank\u2019s capital. In addition, the shares in Gas Natural Fenosa, Abertis, Agbar and Port Aventura will go to a new company that will be controlled by \u2018La Caixa\u2019, which will remain as a savings bank. This new company will also have the group\u2019s real state business, in order to clearly separate it from the banking business.
CaixaBank will have, according to the company, more than 5.400 offices and the best payment arrears ratio among the largest Spanish financial groups. It will also have the best coverage and more than 10% of hardcore capital. In addition, CaixaBank will have shares in international banking business and in multinational companies such as Telefonica and Repsol. It will also have an associated insurance business, which will come from VidaCaixa.
It is expected the reorganisation will be finished before August. However, it will have to be previously approved by the La Caixa\u2019s General Assembly and the Criteria\u2019s Shareholder Council.