Anglo Irish reports 38% increase in pre-tax profits

6 December 2006

Ireland's Anglo Irish Bank has reported a 38 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for 2006, with earnings up to €850 million (£574 million) compared with €615 million in 2005.

The results soundly beat analysts' forecasts, with the bank crediting strong lending activity over the last 12 months for the rise in earnings.

Lending to bank customers was reportedly up to €50.2 billion, marking an increase of 45 per cent on last year's figures.

Group revenues also saw a significant increase - up 35 per cent to reach €1.2 billion, breaking the €1 billion mark for the first time.

Commenting on the results to Bloomberg News, Anglo Irish's chief financial officer Willie McAteer said that growth in the loans markets in Ireland, the UK and the US was encouraging for the future prospects of the bank.

"The franchise is expanding all the time, and we're looking at transactions today we wouldn't have got a look at five years ago,'' he told the news agency

"We're fortunate in that we've a long way to grow in the economies that we're in.''

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