Thursday 16 August 2018

Operating profit jumps by €88m at Ulster Bank

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Operating profit at Ulster Bank has jumped to €100m in the six months to 30 June.

This marks a significant increase on the operating profit of €12m reported in the same period last year.

The performance was driven by a number of one off items of income, as well as a reduction in operating expenses, the bank said in a trading update today.

Operating expenses at the bank reduced to €285m, down from the €342m reported in the first six months of 2017.

The bank, which earlier this year this year launched the auction of 6,500 Irish mortgages, saw its total income increase to €355 in the six months to June 30, up from €341m in the same period last year.

Ulster Bank also reported a net impairment release of €30m.

"We have had a positive start to the year with operating profit of €100m, increasing €88m compared to H1 2017," Ulster Bank interim CEO Paul Stanley said.

"Our capital and funding metrics continue to strengthen primarily due to a reduction in risk weighted assets and an increase in customer deposits, has supported a further reduction in our loan to deposit ratio," he continued.

The bank’s net interest margin - the difference between what a bank earns and what it charges savers – improved by 18 basis points to 1.85pc driven by a funding benefit in the first half of 2018.

Meanwhile staff expenses reduced by €10m or 8.9pc following recent restructuring initiatives, the bank said.

Ulster Bank earlier this year this year launched the auction of 6,500 Irish mortgages, with combined debts of €1.6bn. The sale, launched in May, is split between 2,900 buy-to-let investor loans and 3,600 primary dwelling homes - standard owner-occupier mortgages. The owner-occupier mortgages are in deep arrears with an average of 44 months.

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