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Newcastle BS profits up 52 per cent

Newcastle Building Society group profits are up 52 per cent to £17.6m in 2007.

The society has seen a 48 per cent increase in other income to the year ended December 31, 2007, largely its Solutions business and increasing demand for investment products through Newcastle Financial Services.

Despite a turbulent second half of 2007, it says its success is due to the Universal merger in December 2006 and its focus on the prime sector, limiting its exposure to the US sub-prime market.

Total assets increase by 9 per cent and gross lending exceeded £1bn for the first time.

The group says its continued success will create another 500 jobs over the next five years.

Chief executive Colin Seccombe says: “Despite market turbulence in the second half of the year, the group has shown real progress in all parts of its business, both the traditional member based savings and lending activity, as well as the innovative Solutions divisions.

This has meant we have been successful in our key aim of extending sources of income to support the delivery of competitive products to members and strengthened further the level of capital we hold to protect them.

“I am especially pleased that the Society’s improvement in performance is so broadly based across the whole of our business. As an innovative business we continue to expand and diversify in the face of increased competition. And, true to our roots as a mutual building society we are, and will remain, committed to growing our core member business.”

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