Britain's RBS reports rare profit in first quarter

LONDON Fri May 2, 2014 2:05am EDT

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LONDON May 2 (Reuters) - Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland trebled its profit in the first quarter, benefiting from improved cost control and a reduction in impairment costs.

The bank, which is 81 percent-owned by the government, reported an attributable profit of 1.2 billion pounds, only the sixth time it has reported a quarterly profit since its 45 billion pound ($76 billion) government rescue during the 2008 financial crisis.

Operating profit was 1.5 billion pounds, up from 747 million the year before. Pretax profit was 1.6 billion pounds, compared with 826 million in the same period the previous year.

Analysts had forecast an attributable profit of 200 million pounds, an operating profit of 800 million pounds and a pretax profit of 300 million pounds, according to a poll of 8 analysts provided by the bank.

The bank posted an 8.2 billion pound pretax loss in 2013 due to restructuring costs and misconduct charges, taking the total it has lost since the bailout to 46 billion pounds. ($1 = 0.5919 British Pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)

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