Lloyds Banking Group sees big profit increase

Lloyds Banking Group has reported a large profit increase for the first quarter of the year. The bank reported a pre-tax profit of £2.04bn in the first quarter, which is up from £280m for the same period last year.

The latest profit news comes as the bank failed to sell 630 of its branches to the Co-op last week. Lloyds is still planning to go ahead with the sale of branches, by selling them as a stand-alone bank through a stock market listing later on this year. The lastest profit figures do not include costs related to the branch sale as well as money set aside for PPI repayments.

The group’s chief executive Antonia Horta-Osorio said the bank had made ‘substantial progress’. He also said profits had been driven by increased margins and a rapid fall in costs and impairments.

Lloyds also said costs fell by 6% in the first quarter and expects annual costs to fall to just over £9bn by 2014.

The Lloyds Banking Group is partially owned by the government. They own a 39% stake in the banking group.

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