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Rodrigues bids to regain focus as profits slump

Bradford & Bingley chief executive Christopher Rodrigues is taking a more hands-on role in its distribution business after half-year profits for its distribution channels plummeted to £1m.

Rodrigues will take over running B&B&#39s estate agencies after managing director of retail Peter Barrett resigned.

Group commercial director Ian Darby is taking over Charcol and group operations director Robert Dickie will oversee The Marketplace.

Profits for Charcol, The Marketplace and B&B&#39s estate agencies fell by more than £13m to £1m from £14.7m in the first half of 2002. This means that, based on a simple calculation, the group made less than £972 profit for each of its 1,029 RIs.

B&B blames the 94 per cent decline in profits on a difficult investment market combined with training costs, new product lines and the work it has been doing on its general insurance proposition.

Overall distribution revenues fell by 9 per cent to £118.9m from £130m but mortgage broking offered a glimmer of light, with revenues rising by 31 per cent to £33.6m from £25.6m. Investment revenues declined by 36 per cent to £21.4m from £33.6m.

Head of retail PR Siobhan Hotten says: “It is fair to say the property business has seen a fairly difficult first half, particularly the second quarter. With the business going through a challenging time, Christopher felt it deserved the focus and attention he could bring.”

London & Country mortgage expert David Hollingworth says: “B&B has suffered from a lack of confidence in the equity market and a slowing property market. But its mortgage broking side has been successful.”

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