International Airlines Group - the parent company of Aer Lingus and BA - has reported an operating profit for the first half of the year of €975m.

That was up over a third on last year and includes a foreign exchange impact of €44m.

Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, said the group was targeting further growth of Aer Lingus but had some criticisms of Dublin airport.

"There are challenges because competition has increased. The success of Aer Lingus has attracted more airlines into Dublin. We're unhappy with the performance of the airport.

"It's not the runway, although it is required long term, but they need to address performance of the baggage system, the aircraft parking stands, the taxi ways. These are infrastructure bottlenecks that shouldn't be there.

"They probably got caught out by the level of expansion and maybe didn't fully understand the ambition we had on expanding the airline. Our plans are heavily dependent on a good operating performance at the airport," Mr Walsh said.

He also confirmed that the recent power outage that affected its BA operations on the May Bank Holiday weekend had cost the airline €85m in the quarter.

"In financial terms, it increased costs by €65m in the quarter and it impacted revenue in the order of €20m so a €85m hit which clearly we would prefer to have avoided. There are issues there that we have addressed. We have to make sure that these disruptions happen, we recover more quickly."


Bank of Ireland has reported an underlying profit of €480m for the first six months of the year.

Net interest margin - a key measure of profitability - increased by 5 basis points to 2.32%.

The group reported new lending of €6.6 billion in the six-month period.

Impaired loan volumes were down by €800m to €5.4 billion and now account for less than 7% of customer lending.

Andrew Keating, Group Chief Financial Officer of Bank of Ireland, said the profit number was down on last year owing to a number of one off gains related to a transaction involving visa Europe and other items.

"We had a €16m of one off gains last year. When you strip those out, there was a 15% increase in operating profit last year to this year.

"It was a strong result driven by expansion in our Net Interest Margin, tight control of costs and lower impaired loans. The impairment charges were down 40% year over year."

He said the bank had been making significant progress in bringing down impaired loan volumes.

"They are down 65% from peak. The strategies we've employed are working. Nine out of ten are sticking with the terms of the agreements.

We're running at 30% at the level of the wider industry. In other words, the scale of the challenge facing the industry is three times that facing Bank of Ireland."

Mr Keating confirmed that the bank had set aside 20% of first half profits, or about €70m, for the resumption of dividend payments next year.

He also said the bank was pleased with the performance of its UK operations despite Brexit challenges and the fall in sterling.

"Pre-provision operating profits were up 13% year on year. The way we operate there is different. We have a separately incorporated subsidiary which has its own capital and liquidity.

"We operate through partnerships with the Post Office and the AA. That structure gives us flexibility and adaptability," he concluded.