Return to profitability within reach: AIB
First Trust owner Allied Irish Banks has reported a 47% drop in operating losses to €572m (£498m) for the first half of the year, new figures have revealed.
AIB added that it returned to pre-provision profits of €162m (£141.6m) in the six months ended June.
Provisions were down 53% from the second half of 2012 and 24% year-on-year to €738m (644.9m).
At the end of June, the number of AIB Irish residential private homes in arrears for over 90 days was 10% compared with an industry average in March of 12.3%.
Operating income at the bank for the first half was €916m (£800.4m), 19% higher than the same period in 2012.
Bank chief executive David Duffy said AIB was midway through a three-year plan to return to sustained profitability.
"AIB approved over €3bn (£2.6bn) lending in the Irish market in the first half of 2013 and we are well positioned to actively support growth in the economy," he added. AIB cost the taxpayer the most of any Irish lender that is still open for business – over €20bn (£17.5bn). And it has been closing branches and cutting staff numbers in a bid to hit targets.