Irish Life & Permanent has reported results for last year which show pre-tax profits of €592m, compared with €531m in 2005. After investment fluctuations are stripped out, the rise in profits was a better than expected 26%.

These figures are on an embedded value (EV) measure of profits, which is used by life insurance companies and which IL&P says is a more realistic measure of its performance.

Profits in its life and pensions business rose by 23% to €274m while Permanent TSB profits jumped by 36% to €202m.

New life business sales were up 33% to €516m, while new mortgage lending in the Irish market surged by 37% to €8.7 billion. Total lending in its banking business grew by 28%.

Chief executive David Went, presenting his last set of results, said the group increased market share in all of its businesses. He said the economic outlook was positive and the group was well placed to take advantage, particularly of any opportunities offered by maturing SSIA accounts.

A final dividend of 47.9 cent per share has been declared.