By Adria Calatayud
AIB Group PLC said Friday that it swung to a pretax loss for 2020 on the back of a charge on expected credit losses due to the coronavirus pandemic and one-off items, but said it expects to return to profitability this year.
The Irish lender posted a pretax loss for last year of 931 million euros ($1.11 billion) compared with a profit of EUR499 million for 2019. The bank booked an expected credit loss charge of EUR1.46 billion and exceptional items of EUR215 million.
Excluding impairment losses and exceptional items, operating profit fell to EUR729 million from EUR1.09 billion.
Net interest income for the year fell to EUR1.87 billion from EUR2.08 billion in 2019.
AIB Group said its common equity tier 1 ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--was 15.6% at the end of the year, down from 17.3% a year earlier.
The bank said a return to lockdown at the start of 2021 has delayed the recovery and created uncertainty, but it remains positive in its return to profitability in 2021 and resumption of dividend distributions.