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Lloyds posts 1.5 billion net profit in 1Q; Cost for sales of branches rise by 300 million

LONDON – Part-nationalized Lloyds Banking Banking Group is reporting a massive turnaround in its fortunes, with a 1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in net profit compared to a loss of 5 million during the same three-month period last year.

But the challenges remain for the bank, which is 40 per cent owned by the taxpayer. It said Tuesday the cost for the sale of some of its branches would rise by another 300 million. Costs were already at 1 billion.

Lloyds must sell part of its network to comply with the European Commission’s terms for receiving a government bailout. A deal to sell hundreds of branches to Co-operative group unraveled this month.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, the chief executive of Lloyds, says the group made substantial progress, with underlying and statutory profits improving significantly.