Bank of Ireland has reported an underlying profit of €500m for the first six months of 2018 - up 1.6% year-on-year.

However the lender's pre-tax profit fell 1.3% to €454m, as the costs relating to its restructuring programme increased. 

In interim results this morning the bank said its lending reached €7.7 billion in the six month period, which is up 16% compared to the same period of 2017.

This brought its loan book to €76.6 billion euro - up €500m - while its net interest margin stood at 2.23%.

Bank of Ireland said this included a 30% increase in the number of new Irish mortgages on its books.

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The bank said it had made "considerable progress" in addressing the tracker mortgage issue. 

It said it had contacted the vast majority of affected customers and had spent €94m on redress, compensation and related costs by the end of June.

During the period BoI's non-performing loans fell 10% to €5.9 billion and now represents 7.5% of its total loan book. The bank also wrote back €81m in impairement charges, which it said was due to the "effectiveness of our solutions and the positive economic environment and outlook in Ireland."

"The economies in which we operate continue to be supportive, and have enabled us to grow our loan book by €0.5 billion on a constant currency basis while maintaining our commercial pricing and risk discipline," said Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh.

"Our strong financial performance in the first half of 2018 demonstrates good progress in delivering on the growth and transformation strategy we have set out for 2021."

Shares in Bank of Ireland were 2.2% lower by the close of business in Dublin this evening.