The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Bri­tain's state-res­cued Lloyds Bank­ing Group said on Fri­day that net prof­its rose by 31 per cent in the first half, de­spite set­ting aside fur­ther funds for com­pen­sa­tion for in­sur­ance mis-selling.

Earn­ings af­ter tax rose to £874 mil­lion ($1.364 mil­lion; Dh5 bil­lion) in the six months to June, and the com­pany an­nounced a div­i­dend of 0.75 per cent per share, amount­ing to £535 mil­lion. This was de­spite set­ting aside a fur­ther £1.4 bil­lion to cover com­pen­sa­tion to cus­tomers who were mis-sold pay­ment pro­tec­tion in­sur­ance (PPI), tak­ing the len­der's to­tal PPI bill to £13.4 bil­lion in­clud­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive costs.

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment bailed out Lloyds dur­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008 but has been re­duc­ing its share in re­cent months, and this now stands at less than 15 per cent. "To­day's re­sults demon­strate the strong progress we have made in the first half of the year," said chief ex­ec­u­tive An­to­nio Horta-Oso­rio. He added: "We re­main fo­cused on our aim to be­come the best bank for cus­tomers and share­hold­ers while at the same time sup­port­ing the UK econ­omy." Lloyds paid out its first div­i­dend since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis ear­lier this year, again of 0.75 per cent.

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