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B&B boosted by distribution

Bradford & Bingley got a big boost from its distribution business which more than doubled profits in the first half of this year.

B&B&#39s distribution arm, which includes the MarketPlace and Charcol operations, saw profits surge by 258 per cent to £14.7m from £4.1m in the first half of last year.

Group profits rose by 4 per cent to £135m from £129m. The figures were boosted by £7.2m due to a change in accounting procedures Lending grew by 2 per cent to £19bn from £18.7bn, with lending profits up for the six months by 16 per cent to £103m from £90m.

B&B says it achieved its target of 1,000 advisers 18 months ahead of schedule and says it will continue to increase its adviser base that grew by 8 per cent to 1,015 registered individuals at June 30 from 936 last year.

B&B chairman Lindsay Mackinlay is stepping down in November to be replaced by Rod Kent who continues in his post as managing director of Close Brothers.

B&B group chief executive Christopher Rodrigues says: “Our first-half performance provides further evidence that we are delivering on our strategy of offering choice and advice in financial services and growing our selective lending and property businesses. Our distribution business is starting to make a significant contribution to the bottom line. Our strategy means we are well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities a changing regulatory environment will present. Our low-risk business is focused on secure lending in the UK.”

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