Lloyds Bank strengthens dividend case with increased profit
LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group reported a 22 percent increase in first-quarter pretax profit and said it continued to expect to apply for permission in the second half of the year to restart dividend payments.
Lloyds, which is 25 percent-owned by the government, reported an underlying profit of 1.8 billion pounds ($3.04 billion) in the first quarter.
The bank also announced improved guidance on future margin and impairment charges. It now expects a 2014 net interest margin of 2.4 percent, an increase of around 10 basis points on previous guidance.
($1 = 0.5922 British Pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)