Tuesday 12 December 2017

AIB 'well positioned' to pay back bailout loans after pre-tax profits rise to €1.9bn

Bernard Byrne, chief executive of AIB. Photo: Mark Condren
Bernard Byrne, chief executive of AIB. Photo: Mark Condren
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Allied Irish Bank (AIB) is now "well-positioned" to deliver on the State's €20.8bn bailout after pre-tax profits at the institution rose 72pc to €1.9bn.

In the bank's full-year results published this morning it said the increase in profit was driven by high quality new lending matched with continued progress on operating expenses.

Excluding exceptional items and bank levies, AIB dropped its operational expenses by 8pc, representing a €450m in expenses since 2012.

Total operating income at the bank rose by 4pc to €2.6bn while it posted €14.4bn in new lending approvals to customers.

AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne described 2015 as a "milestone year" for the bank.

"There can be no doubt that the group's financial performance has confirmed our transition from a work-in-progress to a fully-functioning sustainable well-capitalised bank. This bank is now well-positioned to enable the State to recover its full investment of €20.8bn."

Drawdowns at the bank were up 49pc on the previous year at €8.7bn.

The bank posted a substantial reduction in impaired loans to €13.1bn, down €9.1bn since December 2014 and €15.8bn since December 2013.

AIB chairman, Richard Pym, said the results reflected the scale of AIB's financial transformation.

"Our strengthened capital position and ongoing improving risk profile reinforces our progress and paves the way for the State to potentially sell part of its shareholding in AIB. 

"The bank is working very hard to demonstrate to our personal and business customers that they can rely on us to operate to the highest level of professionalism, integrity and service. We remain focused on supporting them and Ireland's economy," Mr Pym said.

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