AIB upgrades guidance after 70% jump in first quarter income

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by Reuters

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AIB upgrades guidance after 70% jump in first quarter income

DUBLIN, May 4 (Reuters) - Irish bank AIB (AIBG.I) revised its full year guidance upwards across the board on Thursday after its total income jumped 70% year-on-year in the first quarter due to record increases in official interest rates.

Ireland's largest mortgage lender said it expects net interest income of 3.3 billion euros this year versus the 3 billion guided in March, increased its net interest margin forecast to above 2.70% from 2.40% and forecast 2023 return on tangible equity (ROTE) to be in the high-teens.

The majority state-owned bank said in December that it expected to reach a more than 13% ROTE by 2024, allowing it to supplement increased dividend payments with share buybacks over that time.

The bank's net interest margin, a key metric showing the profitability of its lending, rose to 2.78% in the first quarter versus 1.45% a year ago when the bank was still operating in a negative interest rate environment.

The European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates for the seventh meeting in a row later on Thursday, with only the size of the move still open to debate.

"Notwithstanding the overseas financial market volatility, AIB remains in a position of strength with a robust balance sheet, stable deposit base and growing loan book enabling us to support our customers and the wider economy," AIB Chief Executive Colin Hunt said in a statement.

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