Allied Irish Banks posts first annual profit since 2008

GMT 21:16 2015 Thursday ,05 March

Arab Today, arab today Allied Irish Banks posts first annual profit since 2008

Ireland's state-rescued Allied Irish Banks
Dublin - AFP

Ireland's state-rescued Allied Irish Banks posted its first annual profit since 2008 on Thursday as income jumped and an improving Irish economy allowed for the reversal of write-downs.
Net profits, or earnings after taxation, were 915 million euros ($1.010 billion) last year. That compared with a loss of 1.59 billion euros in 2013, AIB said in a results statement.
Pre-tax profits stood at 1.1 billion euros compared to a loss of 1.66 billion in 2013.
"Over a three year period we have delivered a circa 4.8 billion euros turnaround in the group's profit before tax," outgoing chief executive David Duffy said.
Operating income was up 31 percent to 2.53 billion euros from 1.924 billion euros the year before.
An improving Irish economy and rising house prices allowed it to write-back 188 million euros in bad loans compared to a provision of 1.9 billion euros in 2013.
The lender's total impaired loans reduced by 6.7 billion euros or 23 percent during 2014 to 22.2 billion euros.
"2014 was a milestone year for the bank. We achieved significantly improved financial results, and a material de-risking of the balance sheet," Duffy added.
AIB follows Bank of Ireland back into the black, after its rival posted a full-year net profit of 786 million euros for 2014 last week.
The results mark the first time that AIB was back in annual profit since 2008 — before the Irish economy collapsed and Ireland entered a international bailout programme.
Ireland exited that programme in late 2013 and its economy is forecast to be Europe's fastest-growing this year.
The Irish taxpayer has pumped almost 21 billion euros into the lender since 2009 and holds a 99.8 percent stake in the bank.
Finance minister Michael Noonan has said Dublin will sell a quarter of its stake at the end of this year or early 2016. Goldman Sachs was appointed in January to advise Noonan of the options.
"AIB is becoming an increasingly valuable asset and today's results put the taxpayer in a strong position to regain the 20.8 billion euros investment in the bank," he said in a statement.
"Our attention now turns to the process of examining the range of options available to recoup this investment for the taxpayer."


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