The Bank of Ireland posted underlying pre-tax profit of € 465 million for the first half of this year as its loan loss provisions collapsed and total revenues increased.
The bank’s loan loss allowance for the period was $ 1 million. The lower charge for this year “reflects the improved economic outlook and subdued credit losses over the period,” the interim results release said Tuesday.
The Bank of Ireland posted an underlying loss of € 669 million for the corresponding period in 2020.
Total revenue rose 14 percent in the six months to June, and the bank, led by CEO Francesca McDonagh, forecast it will grow 5 percent in the second half of the year due to higher interest and business income.
Bank of Ireland said its capital reserves are sufficient to cost the purchase of KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loans of almost € 9 billion to € 480 million. Both planned acquisitions were announced in the last few months.
In addition, the bank said it will also have cash to resume distributions to shareholders “on a prudent and progressive basis based on performance and capital prospects”. Analysts generally assume that the bank will pay dividends again early next year after a two-year hiatus amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The bank’s capital reserve, the core capital ratio (CET1), was 14.1 percent at the end of June, 0.7 percentage points above the previous year’s figure.
“Our results today and our outlook for the future are radically different from 12 months ago,” said Ms. McDonagh. “In the first half of 2021, we made a strong recovery in our business development. We continued to implement our strategy, including investing in digitization and transforming our business.
“If we put the tumultuous 2020 aside and compare our results to the same period in 2019, our adjusted operating income before impairment is up 7 percent.
“While Covid-19 is still with us, there is a path to recovery. Comprehensive vaccination programs are loosening the vise-like grip that Covid-19 has held over our economy and society. Our economic outlook is increasingly positive as sentiment has returned to pre-pandemic levels. “