Shinhan Financial Group Co., South Korea's No. 4 banking group, said Tuesday its earnings sank 18 percent from a year earlier on a squeezed profit margin and decreased non-interest income. Net income amounted to 1.9 trillion won (US$1.77 billion) last year, compared with a profit of 2.32 trillion won the previous year, the firm said in a regulatory filing. The weaker performance came as the firm suffered a decline in its non-interest income, the group said. Its non-interest income declined to 1.42 trillion won from 1.58 trillion won over the cited period, and its interest income also fell to 6.6 trillion won from 6.98 trillion won, it said. It set aside 1.18 trillion won in loan-loss reserve last year, down 10.5 percent from a year earlier. During the fourth quarter of last year, the financial group's net income rose 10.4 percent from a year earlier to reach 343 billion won. The group's total asset edged up 1.3 percent on-year to reach 371.5 trillion won at the end of last year, and its capital adequacy ratio rose to 13.6 percent from 12.5 percent over the cited period. Shinhan Bank, the flagship unit of the group, logged a net profit of 1.37 trillion won last year, down 17.4 percent from the previous year. The bank's net interest margin (NIM), a key gauge of profitability, was 1.76 percent as of the end of 2012, down from 1.99 percent a year ago. The bank's capital adequacy ratio stood at 16.6 percent at the end of last year, up from 15.8 percent a year ago, it said. Shinhan Financial's non-banking units generated a combined 862 billion won in profit last year, down 16 percent from a year earlier, with the figure accounting for 38.3 percent of the total. The portion, which peaked at 60 percent in 2009, has been on a decline, reaching 37.5 percent and 37.9 percent, respectively, in 2011 and 2012. Shares of Shinhan Financial Group closed at 43,050 won, up 0.58 percent from Monday's close. The results were released after the stock market closed. Shinhan Financial's net profit was the largest among the country's four major bank holding firms. Woori Finance Holdings Co., the No. 1 player in terms of assets, logged 289 billion won in profit last year, a sharp fall from 1.63 trillion won. No. 2 player KB Financial Group also suffered a 26 percent drop in its 2013 profit with 1.28 trillion won, and Hana Financial Group Inc. saw its net profit drop to 1.02 trillion won from 1.62 trillion won over the cited period.