Friday 15 December 2017

Adjusted operating profit at Ulster Bank down a third in first half of 2017

Ulster Bank's CEO Gerry Mallon
Ulster Bank's CEO Gerry Mallon
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Adjusted operating profit at Ulster Bank decreased by a third to €104m in the six months to 30 June 2017, compared with the first half of 2016, according to the latest results from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The drop in operating profit reflected a reduction in income from free funds previously set aside to cover bad loans.

Total income at Ulster Bank was €341 for the six months to 30 June, down from €377m in the same period last year.

Despite this the bank said that its core business was performing ahead of expectations.

Read more: €2m still available in low-cost agri loans from Ulster Bank

Net interest margin, a key barometer of a bank's profitability, was 1.67pc, three base points higher than the same period in 2016.

This reflected a combination of improved deposit and loan margins, one off income adjustments in 2017, and de-leveraging measures in 2016 which the bank said have reduced the concentration of low yielding non-performing loans.

Adjusted operating expenses at the bank also increased by 0.8pc year on year to €254m.

Restructuring costs at the bank increased by €17m during the period, primarily driven by announcements in the first half of 2017 to invest and restructure the bank.

The restructuring includes the closure of 22 bank branches – 11 of which were closed in the six months to 30 June 2017.

During the six months to 30 June gross new lending from Ulster Bank in the Irish market increased by 11pc or €1.3bn.

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