LONDON, April 27 Lloyds Banking Group
on Thursday reported its first quarter profit remained steady,
defying analysts' expectations of a dip in performance at
Britain's biggest mortgage lender following the vote last June
to leave the European Union.
Lloyds said underlying profit before tax was 2.1 billion
pounds ($2.70 billion), in what will likely be the lender's last
earnings update before a return to full private ownership
following its state bailout during the 2008 crisis.
That was level with the same period a year ago, and better
than the average estimate of 1.9 billion pounds according to
analysts polled by Reuters.
"These results continue to demonstrate the strength of our
customer focused, simple and low risk business model," Chief
Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said in a statement.
Lloyds reported its net interest margin rose to 2.8 percent
from 2.74 percent a year ago and said it expected the measure to
hold at the new level this year, again defying expectations the
key measure of profitability would dip on economic uncertainty.
($1 = 0.7772 pounds)
(Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)