March 17, 2020 / 11:23 PM / 19 days ago

Colombia's Grupo Aval posts 4.2% rise in 2019 net profit

BOGOTA, March 17 (Reuters) - Colombian financial services company Grupo Aval on Tuesday reported its net profit in 2019 was 3.03 trillion pesos ($739 million), up 4.2% on the previous year, citing an increase in lending.

“(Last year) was the first year in our history where we surpassed 3 trillion pesos in net profit,” the company said in a filing to the Andean country’s financial regulator.

Grupo Aval’s consolidated assets grew 7.4% last year, while the loan portfolio increased 6%, driven by consumer and business loans, as well as mortgages.

However, fourth-quarter net profit fell 15.9% to 715.1 billion pesos, from 850.7 billion pesos in the year-earlier period, the company said in its statement.

The fall in fourth-quarter net profit was mainly explained by a drop in income from its investment portfolio, the company said. Net profit in the final three months of 2019 fell 3.8% compared to the third-quarter of last year.

Grupo Aval consists of banks Banco de Bogota, Banco Popular, Banco AV Villas, Banco de Occidente, Corporacion Financiera Colombiana and pension fund Porvenir.

($1 = 4,099.93 pesos)

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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