Belfast Telegraph

Losses at Irish Life reduced by 80%

Irish Life and Permanent has announced its operating losses for the first half of this year narrowed by 80% to 10 million euro.

The financial services group, which reported a 51 million euro loss for the same period last year, put the result down to a strong performance by its Irish Life business.

The pensions arm posted profits of 118 million euro for the six-month period, up 40% on 2009.

However, banking business Permanent TSB lost 131 million euro, with arrears in Irish mortgages rising by more than a quarter.

Irish Life and Permanent also announced it has submitted a plan to merge with EBS Building Society.

Group chief executive Kevin Murphy said a merger between Permanent TSB and EBS could help create a third force for Irish banking but admitted that the group has difficult months ahead.

He said: "2010 will be a year of change in the Irish financial services market and will continue to be a year of challenge for our businesses.

"For the second half of 2010 the bank is expected to continue to record losses while the life business should continue its recovery."

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