Danske’s pre-tax profits in Northern Ireland rise to £147m

Strong performance from its operations in North contributed to record year for bank


Danske Bank’s pre-tax profits in Northern Ireland increased by £30.5 million last year to £147.5 million, latest financial results show.

The strong performance from its operations in the North contributed to a record year for the Nordic bank which overall reported a net profit for 2017 of 20.9 billion Danish kroner and a total income of DKK 48.1 billion.

In Northern Ireland, the Copenhagan headquartered bank reported a one per cent increase in its total income to £230.9 million.

The bank’s lending balances in the North grew by nine per cent, year on year, driven chiefly by a strong performance from the corporate banking division and a 28 per cent jump in its new mortgage lending portfolio.

Following on from 2016 Danske also reported a net credit in loan impairments in Northern Ireland based on the ongoing recovery in local property prices and the improved trading performance from business customers who, the bank highlighted, had “remained buoyant” despite the back drop of economic uncertainty over Brexit.

As a result, Danske said that provisions made in previous years against potential distressed lending were no longer necessary in the North.

According to Kevin Kingston, chief executive of Danske Bank UK, “restructuring and organisational change” played an important role in helping the bank to deliver a strong set of financial results.

Mr Kingston said overall the bank had delivered an “improved underlying business performance” which resulted in lending growth and deposit growth which also increased by five per cent in 2017.

Overall, the Denmark’s largest bank beat fourth-quarter pretax profit expectations, but warned of a lower net result in 2018, saying it planned to increase its dividend payouts. Its pretax profit of 6.73 billion crowns was ahead of the 6.45 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Terry Browne, country manager and head of corporate and institutional banking at Danske Bank Ireland, said that 2017 was another year of solid progress for its corporate and institutional business.

“Key drivers were increased activity in Ireland by our Nordic multinational clients and the expanding global footprint of our corporate and institutional clients,” Mr Browne said.