AIB plans €250m dividend and eyes 2017 IPO

The bank says its nearing the end of its "recovery programme"

AIB has registered a €1.7bn profit before tax for 2016 - and it plans to pay a €250m dividend which will be returned almost entirely to the State. This will be the first dividend payment since 2008.

The State has retained a 99% holding in the bank since the financial crisis and is preparing to bring an IPO to the market.

"The bank is now ready for an IPO, when market conditions permit and the Minister decides. With a market leading franchise, strong customer focus and investment in digital, AIB Group is well placed to continue to support our customers and the growing Irish economy,"  Bernard Byrne, CEO said in a statement accompanying today's results.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan welcomed this morning's filing: "Today's results from AIB confirm a very strong performance by the bank with sustainable profits, strong capital generation and very significant lending into the Irish economy."

Plans to sell in 2016 were pushed back as the bank faced unfavourable market conditions.

Its new lending in Ireland increased by 16% as loans of €12.9bn were approved.

AIB's impaired loans reduced to €9.1bn - €4bn less than 2015, and €20bn in 2013.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Bernard Byrne said that a public offering will not affect the "day-to-day" running of the bank and it will represent the end of AIB's "recovery programme."