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MADRID, April 26 (Reuters) - Banco Santander opened Spain's bank reporting season on Wednesday with a 14 percent rise in first-quarter net profit from a year earlier, beating analysts' forecasts and helped by strong business in its largest market Brazil.
Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank by market value, reported net profit of 1.87 billion euros ($2.05 billion) in the first three months of the year against analysts' forecasts of 1.77 billion euros in a Reuters poll.
Net interest income, a measure of earnings on loans minus deposit costs, was 8.4 billion euros, up 10 percent from a year ago.
In Brazil, where it makes about 26 percent of its profits, net profit improved for the fifth quarter in a row. ($1 = 0.9141 euros) (Reporting by Jesus Aguado and Angus Berwick)