DUBLIN: Allied Irish Banks (AIB) reported a 25 percent fall in first half profit due to few one-off gains but its capital and margins rose in its first set of results since completing Europe’s largest initial public offering (IPO) of 2017. The bank, which has posted a profit for each of the last three years and this year became the first domestically owned lender to restart dividends since the market crash, reported a pretax profit of 761 million euros, down from 1 billion a year earlier. Last year’s figures were flattered by a 272 million euro gain from a disposal.
The bank also clawed back 211 million euros from money put aside for bad loans last year compared to 19 million in the six months to June 30. Increases in income levels elsewhere and a 15 percent rise in new lending powered a 48 percent rise in pre-provision operating profit. “All of our financial indicators are in line with or ahead of expectations, with strong profitability, a stronger balance sheet and significant capital generation,” Chief Executive Bernard Byrne said in a statement. Its core tier one capital ratio rose to 16.6 percent from 16.0 percent at the end of March, significantly above its medium term target of 13 percent. Its net interest margin grew to 2.54 percent from 2.46 percent in the first quarter. The bank’s impaired loans fell by 1.3 billion euros to a still high 7.8 billion. The Irish government raised 3.4 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in June by selling 29 percent of the bank it nationalised almost a decade ago, turning around a company at the forefront of reckless lending of Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” boom years.