Irish Life & Permanent plc has announced financial results for the first half of 2006.
The report included a 23% rise in operating profit to €242m for the first half of the year, although profits after tax were down to €202m, compared with €220m during the same period last year.
The retail financial services group has reported “strong momentum” across each of its key businesses and says it has “great confidence” of a very strong set of results for the year as a whole.
“We were firing on all cylinders during the first half of the year and we increased market share in each of our key businesses,” said chief executive David Went.
“Irish Life has continued its strong run of recent years with a huge lift in investment bond sales in particular.
“Permanent tsb bank enjoyed a huge bounce from what were relatively weak mortgage sales in the first half of last year and grew its market share in the process. Irish Life Investment Managers continues to enjoy very strong inflows on the back of a strong fund management performance.”
“All the factors are in place to underpin a further strong performance in the second half of the year. The economy continues its stellar performance.
“There’s a strong housing market…strong demographics and significant wealth creation across the economy. All these factors will help drive demand for our core products and we are optimistic that the performance we’ve enjoyed so far this year will continue to the finishing line and beyond.”
The company enjoyed a 70% rise in new mortgage sales in Ireland, and 44,000 current accounts were opened in the first half of the year.