IRELAND – Allied Irish Bank, citing market volatility and uncertainty, said its fund management profits growth in 2002 was “less than desired”.

“Given the general level of volatility and uncertainty in the experienced in the markets, the last year has been a difficult one for the wealth management sector, and in common with other fund managers our rate of profit growth was less than desired,” the bank said in its 2002 earnings statement.

The bank did not disclose its fund management profits. It said its total assets rose 23% to 19.4 billion euros.

Ireland-based AIB has 6.7 billion euros in European pension funds under management via its AIB Investment Management division.

It said it was confident the sector would continue to be a “significant business” in the future.

Overall, AIB had a confident outlook. “We are very confident of the future prospects for the bank and we look forward to further strong growth across our business,” it said.

It reported pre-tax profits rose 34% to 261.3 million euros in the year to the end of September 2002, from 194.8 million euros a year before.