U.K. banking group Lloyds has reported a rise in underlying profit for the first quarter of 2014 as the company plans to restart dividend payments and divest its TSB banking arm.
The group reported statutory pretax profit of £1.37 billion ($2.31 billion) for the quarter, below a mean estimate of £1.7 billion according to a poll by Reuters. For the same quarter in 2013, that figure came in at £2.04 billion. Last year's figures had included gains from the sale of government securities of £776 million.
However, underlying profit grew 22 percent to £1.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. It added that costs had reduced by 5 percent and impairment charges had reduced by 57 percent.
George Culmer, the chief financial officer at the banking group, said that the continued progress in reducing balance sheet risk and in strengthening the group's capital and leverage ratios supported it in becoming a "low-risk bank."
"(It is) well positioned to support the U.K. economic recovery. Accordingly, we continue to expect to apply to the PRA (PrudentialRegulation Authority) in the second half to restart dividend payments," he said in Thursday's press release.
Shares in Lloyds Banking Group rose 2.5 percent to 77 pence in early morning trading in London Thursday.