- AIB on Friday hiked its dividend after annual profits met its expectations as net interest margin growth steadied.

The company also said Friday Mr Donal Galvin, the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Group Treasurer, had been appointed Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect.

For the year ended 31 December, the group delivered a full year profit before tax of €1.25bn in line with expectations and a return on tangible equity of 12.4%.

Both net interest income of €2.1bn and net interest margin of 2.47% were stable over the period.

Net interest margin fell to 2.53% for the year from 2.58% a year earlier, but the company retained its medium term net interest margin target of 2.40%.

Customer fees and commissions were €457m in 2018, up from €449 last year, with customer accounts and card income up in the year due to higher transaction volumes.

In 2018 costs were stable at €1.4bn in line with our expectations.

The company proposed a 42% increase in its dividend to €461m, or 17c per share.

'AIB is well positioned for the future and remains on track to reach our stated medium term targets,' the company said. 'Our business strategy is delivering sustainable profitability and strong capital generation. The economic backdrop is favourable, notwithstanding the uncertainty of Brexit. Looking forward we remain focussed on continued delivery against our key priorities of simplification, efficiency and balance sheet normalisation.'

At 10:04am: [LON:AIBG] AIB Group Plc share price was -0.09p at 4.06p

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