Irish Life profits increase six-fold


Irish Life, the State-owned life assurer, has reported a pre-tax profit of €96 million for the first half of the year.

This amounts to a six-fold increase on the €16 million recorded in the corresponding period last year.

The company was purchased by the Minister for Finance for €1.3 billion in March after its proposed sale to Canada Life fell through over concerns about the ongoing euro debt crisis.

Irish Life said today while market conditions were not conducive for a sale of the group, its priority was to return to private ownership and repay the State's investment.

The group said its embedded value, an estimate of a life assurer's worth based on future profits of existing policyholders, was €1.8 billion at the end of June.

Chief executive Kevin Murphy said the assurer is "very conscious" of its taxpayer support "and was determined "to ensure that this can be repaid fully as soon as practicable”.

He added that the Irish life and pensions market was likely to remain tough for a number of years.