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Lloyds underlying profits up 22 per cent, shows greater signs of rehabilitation after crisis

LONDON - Lloyds Banking Group Plc is showing further signs of getting stronger.

The group, which was bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis, has made steady progress in recent months, with the government stake in the institution now at 25 per cent.

Underlying profit for the quarter ending in March rose 22 per cent to 1.8 billion pounds ($3 billion) from 1.479 billion pounds in the same period the year before.

The bank said Thursday it is on track to float off its TSB business by the summer and expects to apply for permission to start paying dividends again in the second half of the year.

Britain injected billions of pounds into its banks to shore up the system during the crisis.

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