Lloyds optimistic after return to profit

Part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group says it returned to profit in the first three months of the year and expects to “sustain the momentum” throughout 2010.

Lloyds TSB bank
Lloyds TSB bank

The banking group, 41% owned by the taxpayer, says it expects to achieve a “better financial performance than previously guided” and will report profit for the rest of the year. It did not provide figures.

Lloyds’ first quarter performance contrasts with the £6.3bn and £6.7bn losses reported for 2009 and 2008 respectively.

The group, which includes the Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Cheltenham & Gloucester brands, was hit hard by £24bn in bad debts after it acquired troubled HBOS amid the worse of the financial crisis in 2008.

It says the level of impairments, or bad debts, has now improved, allowing the bank to return to profitability.

Lloyds recently appointed EDF Energy’s Eva Eisenschimmel to lead marketing after Nigel Gilbert left at the end of 2009.

The group restructured its marketing team after the HBOS takeover including bringing in former Visa marketer Joe Clift as head of brand/customer marketing specialist brands. It also consolidated its media planning and buying accounts under Mediaedge:CIA (MEC).

Lloyds is to sell hundreds of branches and some of its brands over the coming years after a European Commission report into state aid.

The bank’s share price was up 1.71% this morning at the time of publication.

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