RBS profit surges to £1.2B

|By:, SA News Editor

Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) Q1 net profit soared to £1.2B ($2.02B) from £393M a year earlier, lifted by a significant drop in impairments at the bank's Irish division, and by not having to make new provisions for the mis-selling of protection insurance or toxic assets. Analysts had expected a loss of £200M.

Pretax profit increased to £1.6B ($2.7B) from £826M, while operating earnings rose to £1.5B from £747M.

Revenue fell to £5.05B from £5.16B but topped consensus of £4.7B.

The common Equity Tier 1 ratio rose to 9.4% from 8.6% in December.

RBS could float its Irish unit, Ulster Bank, The Irish Independent reports. Until now, RBS has been trying to sell a stake to a U.S. private-equity house or seek a merger with nationalized Irish peer Permanent TSB.

RBS's shares are +9.95% in London. (PR)