BRIEF-Santander reports Q1 EPS $0.40
* Qtrly net finance and other interest income of $1.1 billion, down 8 pct
SAO PAULO Feb 16 Profitability will come first over market share position for Banco do Brasil SA, as part of efforts to reduce an existing return-on-equity gap with private-sector peers, Chief Executive Officer Paulo Rogêrio Caffarelli said on Thursday.
In an event to discuss fourth-quarter results, Caffarelli said interest income at the state-controlled bank is expected to grow faster than the average of rivals this year. Caffarelli's comments helped shares reverse early losses, and the stock was adding 1.3 percent to 32.27 reais in midmorning trading in São Paulo. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)