© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign of Banorte bank is seen at the Koi Tower office building in Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico July 1, 2019. Picture taken July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Grupo Financiero Banorte reported on Thursday that its quarterly profit surged 34% to 11.5 billion pesos ($572 million) from the year-ago period, boosted by an acceleration in credit demand.

Revenue for the group, which owns one of the country’s largest banks and pension funds, totaled 28.5 billion pesos in the second quarter, up 21% from a year earlier.

The company, which is among the potential bidders for Citigroup (NYSE:)’s Mexican retail unit, said the positive results came despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, with low GDP growth expectations, inflationary pressures, restrictive monetary policies and an uncertain international outlook.

“Credit demand accelerated across all products, despite a restrictive rate cycle, and maintained sound risk metrics, that continue to perform ahead of our expectations,” the bank said in its report.

($1 = 20.1353 pesos at end-June)

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