NET ATTRIBUTABLE PROFIT
Despite the uncertainty that characterized 2022, BBVA made enormous progress in its strategy for profitable growth, based on digitization, innovation and sustainability.
The BBVA Group’s net attributable profit for 2022 was €6.42 billion, which represents an increase of 38 percent from a year earlier. This growth was mainly driven by a solid increase in revenues, an ongoing cost containment policy and greater asset quality.
Gross income, or the sum of the main revenue lines from the banking business, ended the year with 22.9 percent growth year-on-year at constant exchange rates (in other words, without taking into account the impact of exchange rates). The Group’s main geographic areas contributed to this increase thanks to credit growth, which was boosted by the economic recovery and better customer spreads, as a result of an environment with more favorable interest rates.
This revenue growth, together with keeping expenses at bay, which have grown less than the average inflation rate in the countries where BBVA has a presence, place the efficiency ratio at 43.2 percent. This represents an improvement of 277 basis points over the ratio from the previous year. Therefore, BBVA remains a leader in efficiency yet another year compared to its European peers.
Operating income, or the difference between the revenue generated and the costs incurred, reached a record high of €14.13 billion, up 29.2 percent from the previous year, without taking currency fluctuations into account.
COST OF RISK
As for risk indicators, the NPL ratio stood at 3.4 percent at the end of the year, improving 70 basis points from the previous year, and the coverage rate rose from 75 percent in December 2021 to 81 percent. The cost of risk stood at 0.91 percent, in line with expectations and below pre-pandemic levels (1.04 percent in 2019).
The BBVA Group remains the leader in profitability metrics among comparable banks in Europe. In 2022, return on tangible equity was 15.3 percent, surpassing our European peers by far, which averaged 7.4 percent, while return on equity was 14.6 percent, excluding non-recurring items in both cases. Value creation for our shareholders is also reflected in the tangible book value per share plus dividends, which reached €7.79, an increase of 19.5 percent over the previous year. Once again, this puts us ahead of our competitors and our ambitious long-term goals.
These strong results have contributed to our excellent capital position, with a CET1 fully-loaded ratio of 12.61 percent. This is well above the requirement set by the supervisor and the Group’s target range.
This year has also allowed us to make significant progress in the goals we set for 2024 at our Investor Day. We remain focused on profitable growth, and on being a unique bank for our customers, based on a value proposition that sets us apart.
Regarding the main business areas, I would like to underscore the following:
Spain has benefited from GDP growth of 5.5 percent. This has translated into a 1.8 percent increase in the amount of credit granted throughout the year, driven by greater momentum in the most profitable segments: corporate and consumer loans. The area’s profit rose to €1.68 billion, up 8.4 percent from the previous year.
The economic situation in Mexico, with GDP growth of 3.1 percent in the year, has helped to boost activity in all business segments - both wholesale and retail. This greater momentum in activity resulted in highly significant growth in recurring revenue, which more than compensated for an increase in costs in a high inflation environment. This led to a net attributable profit of €4.18 billion, up 45 percent from a year ago at constant exchange rates.
In Turkey, good business dynamics allowed for a net attributable profit of €509 million despite the application of hyperinflationary accounting. These results demonstrate the strength of our franchise in the country amid a complex macroeconomic environment. In this context, it is worth mentioning that all risk indicators performed well.
In South America, the positive evolution of the main countries stands out: Argentina, Colombia and Peru, thanks to the performance of consumer and corporate portfolios and credit cards. The attributable result for the area rose to €734 million up 80 percent from the previous year at constant exchange rates, with a balanced contribution from the more relevant countries: €238 million from Colombia; €206 million from Peru; and €185 million from Argentina.
In short, BBVA’s notable strengths, such as our leading franchises in attractive markets, our leadership in digitization and sustainability and the best team, are definitely what made these results possible.
For this reason, I would like to conclude by thanking the more than 115,000 people that are part of the BBVA team. None of this would have been possible without their dedication, hard work and commitment.
Finally, yet another year, I would like to reiterate my appreciation for all of you, our shareholders. Your constant support is fundamental to remain leaders, and it encourages us to give our best each and every day.
Onur Genç CEO