Irish non-bank lender Finance Ireland said it had a record growth year in 2016, returning a profit before tax of €6.3m.

This compares with a pre-tax profit of €3.3m for 2015, while lending volumes rose by 82% year-on-year.

Net assets increased 81% to €72.4m, with year-end cash balances up 21% to €44.8m.

The company also completed a number of milestones last year, including the completion of a €30m equity placement with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and reaching lending of €100m to Irish SMEs with the support of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.

Finance Ireland - which is active in commercial mortgage lending, car finance, leasing and agri-finance - employs 92 people.

The firm’s founder and CEO Billy Kane said the results show "that Finance Ireland is providing a credible alternative in the Irish banking landscape, with strong market presence in the SME, property, motor and agri-finance sectors.

"Our group continues to go from strength to strength and has successfully repositioned itself as a lending platform following the disposal of our non-core businesses and the investment by Ireland Strategic Investment Fund," he added.