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Bank of Ireland says full-year earnings rise 4%

Bank of Ireland posted a 4% rise in full-year earnings, as expected, and said slowing economies in Ireland, Britain and the US would affect its earnings potential in the year ahead.

Underlying earnings per share (EPS) in the 12 months to March rose to 150.3 cents from 144.6 cents a year earlier.

The rate of growth was much weaker than the 22% seen at the end of March 2007 but in line with the bank's own forecast for a rise of 3% to 5% and the 150.7 cent average of 15 analysts' forecasts on Reuters Estimates.

“We expect the slower pace of economic growth in our main markets of Ireland, the UK and the US, and the current market dislocation which characterized the second half of our financial year, to continue to impact our earnings potential in the year ahead,” the bank said in a statement. (Reuters)