London: Lloyds, Britain’s biggest retail bank which was part-nationalised during the credit crisis, returned to profit in the first half of 2010 from a loss a year earlier after lower bad debt charges boosted earnings.
Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday it made a pretax profit of £1.603 billion ($2.48 billion) for the six months ending June, compared with a loss of £3.96 billion a year earlier.
Total impairments fell to £6.55 billion from £13.4 billion a year ago against the backdrop of a stabilising economy, while lower costs also helped boost the company’s profits.
According to Thomson Reuters, the mean estimate for the interim pretax profit stood at £694 million, while the Thomson Reuters StarMine “smart estimate” stood at £621.8 million.
Forecasts had ranged widely, from £492 million to £1.1 billion, according to StarMine.
“We expect to deliver strong medium-term performance as the UK economy sees a gradual recovery,” Lloyds said in a statement.
Lloyds shares closed down 0.7% at 71.92 pence on Tuesday, giving the bank a market capitalisation of around £49 billion.
Lloyds shares have risen around 44% since the start of 2010, outperforming a 4% gain in the DJ Stoxx European bank sector.