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Societies boost business

The building society sector performed well last year, with the latest mutuals to announce their annual results, Yorkshire, Chelsea, and Leeds & Holbeck, all reporting increased profits.

Yorkshire, the UK&#39s third-biggest society, achieved a profit of £67.7m in 2001, up by 4.3 per cent from £64.9m last year. It says this is a good achievement, considering its aim was to maximise financial strength rather than profit.

Chelsea, the seventh-biggest mutual, saw profits increase by 2.5 per cent to £44.4m from £43.2m. The next biggest society, Leeds & Holbeck made a profit of £31m, up by 13 per cent from £27m.

Yorkshire&#39s assets increased to £12.5bn from £11.4bn, Leeds & Holbeck&#39s assets increased to £4bn from £3.8bn and Chelsea&#39s rose to £6bn from £5.3bn.

Chelsea&#39s gross mortgage lending was up by 23 per cent to £1.2bn from £1bn, Leeds & Holbeck&#39s was up by 30 per cent to £913m from £639m and Yorkshire&#39s lending was £2bn, the same as last year – which it says was a record figure.

Chelsea says although it is anticipating less buoyant housing and mortgage markets this year and an industrywide red-uction in transaction volumes, it is confident it can maintain its momentum.

Leeds & Holbeck chief executive Ian Ward says:”Our results for 2001 are the best ever, with growth in all areas of the business.

“They illustrate that being an efficient mutual is the best way to service members and achieve success in a competitive marketplace.”

Yorkshire chief executive David Anderson says: “2001 was another year of strong performance in core markets, along with massive investment for the future.”

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