Danske Bank makes pre-tax profit of £45m in first six months of 2014

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Danske Bank in Northern Ireland made a pre-tax profit of £45m in the first six months of 2014, compared to a £1m loss in the same period last year.

Danske is one of the 'big four' local banks and the first to show a sustained return to profit.

The improvement has been driven by a continued decline in the amount the bank has had to put aside to cover bad loans.

It has even able to make a £5m gain due to an improvement in some bad loans.

Turnover was £109m, up from £95m during the same period in 2013.

The bank's chief executive Gerry Mallon said the underlying performance of the business was continuing to "significantly improve", while at the same time bad loans costs continue to fall.

He added that the bank had seen "a substantial increase" in mortgage applications, resulting in a 38% increase in mortgage approvals compared to the same period last year.

In business banking, he said the last six months had seen Danske's best-ever performance when it came to the acquisition of "new to bank" customers.

Danske's Danish parent company also reported a dramatically improved performance in the first half of 2014.

It increased turnover by 9% to 2.9bn euros (£2.3bn) delivering a net profit of 920m euros (£727m) which was up by 88% compared to 2013.

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