SAO PAULO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Profit at Banco Santander Brasil SA beat estimates in the fourth quarter, as the impact of a surprising tax credit more than offset a surge in loan-loss provisions and declining interest income at the nation's No. 3 private-sector lender.
Recurring net income, a measure of profit excluding one-time items, totaled 1.607 billion reais ($395 million) last quarter, down 5.9 percent from the prior three months, according to a statement. A Reuters poll of seven analysts expected recurring profit of 1.560 billion reais.
Loan-loss provisions, or the money that Santander Brasil set aside to cover loan-related losses, jumped almost 13 percent to 2.762 billion reais, the sharpest quarterly increase in 3 1/2 years.
$1 = 4.0654 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal