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Strong first half for Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has increased its full year earnings estimate on the back of a strong performance in the first six months of 2006.

The bank’s earnings per share grew approximately 25% in H1 2006 compared with the same period last year. In the light of this encouraging performance in the first half, the bank said that it now expects an increase in its full year earnings per share of over 15%.

The bank expects particularly strong performance from its retail, life, wholesale and UK financial services divisions.

The bank said that it expects growth of around 30% for its UK Financial Services (UKFS) division. However, the asset management division is expected to be down by a similar percentage.

Our investment and growth strategies are now delivering results, and we are particularly pleased with the anticipated strong profit growth in our UKFS division, said group chief executive Brian Goggin. The outlook for the group is positive and we remain confident of delivering a strong performance this year.