Europe's biggest bank by capitalisation, Santander of Spain, said Thursday quarterly profits surged 17.2 percent to 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) on growth in markets including Britain and a weak euro.
Relatively unscathed by Spain's banking crisis due to its overseas operations, the group saw its business grow in its 10 "core markets," including in Spain's recovering economy, it said in a statement.
"In the first half of 2015, Santander registered notable growth in business and revenues, which also benefited from exchange rates, particularly the euro-dollar and euro-pound depreciation," it said.
Thursday's quarterly results nevertheless disappointed investors by failing to match figures forecast by analysts. Santander shares lost 2.03 percent in late-morning trade on the Madrid stock exchange that was 0.59 lower.
Over the first half of the year, profits grew by a third compared to the same period a year earlier, to just over a billion euros each in its two biggest markets, Britain and Brazil.
Profits rose by 50 percent in Spain and by 30 percent in the United States.
Measured over the first half of the year, Santander's overall net profit was 3.42 billion euros, 24 percent higher than the first half of 2014.
Santander is reported to be interested in bidding to buy British bank HSBC's operations in Brazil.