Banking group Northern Rock claimed a greater slice of the mortgage market yesterday as it reported a 13 per cent rise in half-year profits to £239.2 million.
The Newcastle-based company said it continued to grow despite the subdued property market, with record gross lending of £11.5 billion in the first half of 2005 representing an increase of 14.8 per cent on a year earlier.
Net lending, which includes repayments, increased by 17.2 per cent to £6 billion and gave the company a UK market share of 14.2 per cent, up from 11.2 per cent across 2004.
Northern Rock added that credit quality remained good - about half the industryt average. As a result of the first half performance Northern said it was on track to meet its strategic targets for 2005 while it remained
comfortable with analysts' profits expectations of around £298 million - up ten per cent on a year earlier.
Northern said prospects appeared good with a lending pipeline worth £6.45 billion, some 26 per cent higher than at the beginning of the year.