Allied Irish Banks (AIB) will raise its dividend, it said, after annual results on Thursday that showed higher capital, lower nonperforming loans and a drop in pretax profit on fewer one-off gains.
In its first set of annual results since the state sold a 29% stake in Europe's largest initial public offering (IPO) of 2017, AIB proposed dividend payments at 12.0 euro cents per share, totalling 326 million euros .
That compared to a 250 million euro payment made to the government a year ago when the then 99.9% state-owned bank became the first domestically owned lender to restart dividend payments since the financial crisis.
AIB's tier one capital ratio rose to 17.5% from 15.3% a year ago, far above its medium term target of 13%. Its expected level of excess capital over the next two to three years was a key selling point in last year's IPO.
AIB plans to return the excess capital to shareholders in the first part through normal dividends with the remainder available via special buybacks or other means.
AIB, whose original 21 billion euro taxpayer bailout was the biggest for any Irish bank still trading, reported a full year pretax profit of 1.3 billion euros, down from 1.7 billion.
Excluding exceptional items, its annual profit rose 6% to 1.57 billion euros.
AIB's net interest margin rose to 2.58% from 2.57% in the third quarter while its impaired loans fell by 2.8 billion euros to 6.3 billion. (Reuters)