Bank of Ireland sees losses sink deep into red

 
Tim Wallace
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THE BANK of Ireland recorded another big loss in 2012 as operating profits plunged on squeezed interest margins, the lender revealed yesterday.

But its shares jumped 4.35 per cent as the bank’s chief presented a positive picture of the group’s turnaround and outlook.

Operating profits before provisions slipped 41.4 per cent to €242m (£208.6m), and although the underlying pre-tax loss shrank two per cent to €1.487bn, overall losses ballooned from €190m in 2011 to €2.166bn.

Non-core items dragged the results down by €679m, compared with a gain of €1.33bn a year ago.

The biggest move came in charges from movements in group credit spreads, which cost €279m in 2012.

The Bank of Ireland’s restructuring programmes also cost an extra €150m.

But chief executive Richie Boucher argued the bank is in a good position for future growth, pleasing investors.

“We are starting to see some of the benefits flowing from the focus we have had over the past four years on our strategic objectives aimed at enhancing our core franchises and rebuilding profitability,” he said.