Mortgage-lending surge lifts ILP interim results

Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) have announced an underlying pre-tax operating profit growth of 15% to €185.8m in an interim report.

Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) have announced an underlying pre-tax operating profit growth of 15% to €185.8m in an interim report.

Total pre-tax profits were up 36% at €192m,when an increase in the value of investments and exceptional items were taken into account.

Pre-tax operating profit for the same period last year (six months to end-June) was €188m. ILP said today this was due to a one-off gain of €26m last year. When that is stripped out, the profits picture represents an increase in pre-tax profits of 15%, the company said.

Another factor in the report was that costs were down across the group, with operating costs running at 2001 levels

A lending surge contributed to the figures. New mortgage lending in Ireland was up 41%, retail life sales were up 29% and individual pension sales were up a whopping 63%. Mortgage lending in the UK rose by 21%.

Earnings per share fell from 58.2 cent to 55.8 cent and a 10% higher interim dividend has been announced.

Group boss David Went described the results as “very satisfactory”.

He said: “Both our life and banking businesses are performing strongly. The backdrop for our business is very positive given the strength of the Irish economy.

"Forecasts are for over 40,000 new jobs being created this year and for a record number of new housing completions – between 70,000 and 80,000 units. For us this has translated into strong volume growth in the first half with permanent tsb’s new residential mortgage lending in Ireland up 41% and, on the life side, with an increase of 63% in individual pension sales."

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