Danske announces pretax losses of €2.8m at NIB


Danske Bank, the new Danish owners of National Irish Bank (NIB) and Northern Bank, has posted stronger-than-expected profits for the first nine months of 2005, although integration expenses led to a pretax loss at NIB.

The Danske Bank Group said the pretax loss of €2.8 million at NIB over the six-month period from March to the end of September was in line with expectations.

NIB posted income of €70 million over the period. However, operating expenses were inflated by almost €12 million to cover the cost of integrating the bank's systems. Excluding one-off expenses, pretax profits at NIB amounted to €17 million over the six months.

Lending to retail customers grew by 26 per cent on the level recorded at the end of September 2004, while lending to NIB business customers increased 43 per cent, ahead of market growth.

Retail deposits grew 9 per cent, with business deposits rising 42 per cent, according to Danske Bank. Northern Bank recorded a pretax profit of €9.9 million.

Danske Bank group recorded a net profit of nine billion Danish krone (€1.2 billion) over the first nine months of the year, against a net profit of DKr6.3 billion in the same period in 2004.

The group has upgraded its expected pretax profit for 2005, anticipating that it will be 25 per cent higher than last year.

Danske Bank chief executive Peter Straarup said the group's positive business trend over the first half of the year had continued in the third quarter.

"The development of banking activities in Ireland is in line with expectations and the IT integration is progressing as planned," he said.

The final migration of systems, products and processes to the group IT platform is scheduled for next Easter. A systems test was conducted at the end of September and was successful, the bank said. NIB is expected to introduce new mortgage and savings products next spring.