AIB performs well in H1 08 despite concerns

Ireland‘s largest bank, AIB PLC has reported pre-tax profits of €1.28bn (US$2bn) for the first half of this year.

The figure represents just a 3% fall on the bank’s profits in the same period of last year. In the same timeframe the AIB share price has fallen by 47.5%, with the market showing concerns that the profit drop would be much greater. Adjusted basic earnings per share fell by just 4% to 104.9 cents, surely making AIB a strong BUY with a PE in low single digits and profit holding up well?

AIB described the figures as representing a well-balanced performance in a very testing environment.

Eugene Sheehy, AIB Group CEO said today in Dublin: “The €1.28bn profit before taxation reported by AIB for the first half of 2008 represents a well balanced operating performance across our domestic and international businesses.

“This performance was achieved despite the adverse effect of slowing economies and difficult market conditions. It reflects the commitment of our people, deep customer relationships across geographically diverse franchises and a resilient risk management framework. All of this enables us to continue to operate effectively in the current challenging environment.”

Elsewhere in the Irish market, IL&P shares jumped by almost 15% today on news that they had reached agreement to refinance 3 billion euros ($4.68 billion) in debt.

Good news all-round for those of you with pensions in Ireland

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