Allied Irish Banks posts first ever annual loss as bad debts soar

Allied Irish Banks today reported its first full-year net loss in its 44-year history.

Allied Irish Banks PLC has suffered a pre-tax loss of €2.6 billion in 2009, against a profit €1.03 billion in the previous year as bad loans surged during the year.

Loan losses jumped from €1.8 billion to settle at €5.3 billion during the one-year period ended December 31.

Operating profits slipped 7 per cent from €2.7 billion in 2008 to €2.3 billion last year.

Out of total loan book, 29.5 per cent, which accounts for €39 billion, are classified as criticized or at risk.

Under the government’s bank rescue plan, AIB will sell approximately €23 billion of its assets and development loan book to the National Asset Management Agency.

The bank said that improving its capital base would be priority in 2010.

Shares in AIB gained 2 cents to close at €1.02-a-share in Dublin.