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First Bancorp reports $50.1M in 4Q20, up 38% YoY


First Bancorp, parent company for FirstBank Puerto Rico reported net income of $50.1 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020, up 38% from the $36.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, reported for the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020 reflected First Bancorp’s closing of its acquisition of Banco Santander Puerto Rico, on Sept. 1, 2020 for an entire quarter and included merger and restructuring costs of $12.3 million ($7.7 million after-tax, or a decrease of $0.04 per diluted share) in connection with the acquisition integration process. 

“We’re very pleased with our operational and strategic results for the year 2020. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished despite the many challenges posed by the global pandemic,” First Bancorp CEO Aurelio Alemán said.  

“It was a transformational year for our company. The acquisition of Banco Santander Puerto Rico…has expanded our market share and solidified our market position in Puerto Rico,” he said, adding the financial institution has seen a more than 30% growth in its customer base, reaching 675,000 clients.

“The results of the fourth quarter reflect the first full quarter of operation of the combined franchise. We’re diligently working on the integration, which is progressing as planned, and is expected to be completed by the end of summer,” Alemán said.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, the corporation reported net income of $102.3 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, compared to $167.4 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, primarily reflecting the effect of the increase in credit loss reserves due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s economic forecast, it said.

For the year, the bank generated $102 million of net income, or $0.46 per share, compared to $167 million, or $0.76 per share, in 2019, despite the higher provisioning for expected credit losses resulting from the pandemic impacts on economic activity. It reported $50 million in net income for the fourth quarter, or $0.23 per share, compared to $29 million in the third quarter.

During the fourth quarter, First Bancorp generated more than $450 million of U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans. 

“Our clients’ adoption of digital channels during 2020 is driving our technological transformation with login activity up more than 33% and digital transactions increasing over 55% for the year,” Alemán said. 

“Technology infrastructure projects initiated this year will drive future efficiencies and support our growing customer base,” Alemán said. “We’re entering 2021 on very solid footing and a fortress balance sheet to support that economic recovery. We have very strong liquidity, solid reserve coverage and very strong capital [with which] to begin the year.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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