Bank of Ireland posts first annual profit since 2008

GMT 12:54 2015 Friday ,27 February

Arab Today, arab today Bank of Ireland posts first annual profit since 2008

Bank of Ireland
Dublin - AFP

Bank of Ireland posted a strong return to profitability in 2014 as the economy improved in its key Irish and UK markets, the lender said Friday.
Net profit hit 786 million euros ($882 million) last year, compared with a loss after tax of 486 million euros in 2013, the bank said in a statement.
It represents the first annual profit for the lender since the financial crisis hit Ireland in 2008.
Pre-tax profits stood at 921 million euros in 2014 compared to a loss of 564 million euros a year earlier.
Impairment charges on loans were down 67 percent to 542 million euros, helped by Ireland's recovering housing market.
The bank said new lending of 10 billion euros in 2014 was more than 50 percent higher than the previous year.
Bank of Ireland is one of two main "pillar" banks created in an overhaul of the Irish banking system, comprising Bank of Ireland, and a merged AIB and the Educational Building Society (EBS).
Dublin maintains a 14 percent stake in the lender after providing emergency funding during the financial crisis.
"Having, to date, returned circa 6 billion euros in cash to the Irish taxpayers for their support... we have made further substantial progress against our strategic priorities in 2014,” chief executive Richie Boucher said in the statement.
Looking ahead, Boucher said he was confident of further progress owing to favourable conditions in Ireland and the UK.
"We have our strong retail and commercial franchises in these markets and we have resilient and professional people, who are motivated and focused and have a proven track record of delivery.
"The combination of these factors gives me confidence in our ability to responsibly deliver attractive and sustainable returns to our shareholders," he added.
The results come as a parliamentary banking inquiry continues its investigations into the role the financial system played in Ireland's economic collapse in 2008.


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