National Irish Bank announces €161m loss in Q1

National Irish Bank announces €161m loss in Q1

National Irish Bank has today reported a loss before tax of €161m for the three months of this year.

The figure includes loan impairment charges of €172m.

The bank's operating profit before impairment charges amounted to €11m, a decrease of 18%.

A reduction in customer demand and the impact of impaired loans was blamed for a 17% fall in income to €35m.

Costs fell by 17% to €24m, driven by the bank’s restructuring programme.

The bank’s total loan book was €9.3bn, down 9% on last year. Commercial property loans amounted to €3.3bn, with most of the bank’s loan impairment charges in this area.

The quality of the Bank’s €3.5bn mortgage book remained "satisfactory", according to the bank.

Customer deposits increased by 31% to €5.7bn.

"These results reflect a very difficult environment but they highlight the importance of the restructuring programme we completed last year," said Andrew Healy, CEO of National Irish Bank.

"The impact of this can now be seen in our reduced cost base. It is also good to see strong deposit growth. Loan impairments of course remain very high and will continue to be heavily influenced by economic conditions, property values in particular.

"This said, we hope to see these numbers trend downwards over the coming quarters.

"We note the unprecedented changes taking place in the Irish banking sector and we very much welcome the Irish government’s efforts to bring greater certainty to the industry.

"As part of a strong, international group that is committed to the Irish market for the long term, National Irish Bank will play its part in Ireland’s new banking landscape in the years to come."

National Irish Bank is a branch of Danske Bank Group, which also announced its financial results today.

Its profit before tax was €201m, up 8% on the first quarter of 2010.

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