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30th of December 2010
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News Tag: first half

November 23, 2010

Nationwide first-half profits up 26%

by Kay Murchie
Britain’s largest building society, Nationwide, has today posted a surge in first half profits. Nationwide said pre-tax profits for the six months to September 30 were £147 million, up from £117 million in the same period a year ago. The company, which is the country's second-biggest mortgage lender, added that bad debts dropped by 44% to £179 million as lending remained tight. Meanwhile, it ...

November 9, 2010

M&S reports strong first half

by Kay Murchie
British retailing giant, Marks and Spencer (M&S;) today reported half-year pre-tax profits of £348.8 million in the 26 weeks to October 2 - a rise of almost 17% compared with a year earlier. The 126-year-old retailer which sells clothes, food and homewares, said earnings after tax grew by 16.4% to £261.2 million Sales, meanwhile, increased by 5.4% to £4.569 billion, boosted by sales ...

October 3, 2010

Halifax names property hotspots

by Gill Montia
Ilford in Essex is the leading property sales hotspot in England and Wales, with an 85% rise in the number of homes sold in the first half of 2010, compared with the same period of 2009. Research from Halifax has identified Croydon and Maidenhead as the runners up, with sales rising 73% and 71% respectively. While the lender's study found "considerable variations" across the country, ...

September 30, 2010

Lloyds receives highest number of complaints, say FSA

by Kay Murchie
Banking giant Lloyds has received the highest number of complaints in the first half of 2010 with 288,717 gripes. Figures from City regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said Barclays and Santander were second and third in the complaints league, with 250,667 and 244,978 complaints respectively. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which like Lloyds is partly-owned by the taxpayer, ...

September 16, 2010

John Lewis reports 28% rise in H1 profits

by Kay Murchie
The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, has today posted a 28% rise in first half profits. The renowned employee-owned department store said pre-tax profit came in at £111.2 million, compared with the £24.2 million in the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, sales grew 12.4% to £3.81 billion in the six months ending 31 ...

September 14, 2010

Financial complaints to FOS rise in first half

by Kay Murchie
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has today said complaints rose in the first half of 2010. According to the FOS, it received 84,212 new complaints between 1 January and 30 June 2010 – with more than half of these about the top five banks. Lloyds Banking Group, which is 43% owned by the taxpayer, was at the top of the list ...

August 23, 2010

Bovis: Consumers hit by spending cuts and tax hikes

by Kay Murchie
Bovis: Consumers hit by spending cuts and tax hikes
Housebuilder Bovis Homes has today claimed the coalition Government’s spending cuts and tax hikes have dented consumer confidence. Its claim comes as the company reported a pre-tax profit of £3.5 million in the first half of 2010, compared with a loss of £8.6 million for the same period last year, Meanwhile, it added it planned to pay a full-year dividend ...

August 18, 2010

Coventry Building Society announces record results

by Kay Murchie
Coventry Building Society, which is scheduled to finalise its merger with smaller rival Stroud & Swindon next month, has today announced record results for the six months ending June 30. The UK's third largest building society said pre-tax profit grew by 20% to £43.5 million - compared with £36.2 million in the same period a year ago. In the meantime, net mortgage lending ...

August 6, 2010

RBS ready to sell WorldPay

by Kay Murchie
RBS ready to sell WorldPay
As part of its restructuring plan, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is preparing to sell its payment processing company, WorldPay, just days after it announced the sale of its Williams & Glyn’s branch network. Private equity firms, Advent International and Bain Capital, have been in talks to buy WorldPay since last month, according to sources. The deal, which could bring RBS £2.5 billion, ...

RBS reports first half profit

by Kay Murchie
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 83% owned by the taxpayer, today announced a profit for the six months ended June, boosted by falling charges for bad debt. The bank posted a net profit of £9 million ($14.3 million) compared with a £1.04 billion net loss in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, it added it was on target to meet ...

August 5, 2010

Taylor Wimpey: UK housing market “relatively robust”

by Gill Montia
Taylor Wimpey has reported "relatively robust" UK housing market conditions over the first half of 2010, having achieved 4,804 legal completions, up slightly from 4,702 a year earlier. The group sold 3,925 homes to private buyers and 866 to affordable housing providers, with the remainder joint ventures. Encouragingly, the developer's cancellation rate scaled back to 16% in the six months to the ...

Barclays first half profit up 44%

by Kay Murchie
Today’s results from Barclays has reinforced that the banking sector is in recovery mode after the bank reported a 44% rise in profits. The bank, which is one of the few not to have received any financial help from the Government, said pre-tax profits came in at £3.95 billion for the six months to the end of June - a rise of ...

August 4, 2010

Standard Chartered first half profits rise

by Kay Murchie
Standard Chartered bank has today unveiled a 10% increase in profits for the half-year ending June 30. The bank, which has a strong presence in Asia, said pre-tax profit came in at £1.96 billion during the six month period, a rise from the £1.78 billion it made in the same period a year earlier. Commenting on today’s figures, chairman John Peace said: "This ...

Banking recovery continues as Lloyds Banking Group returns to profit

by Kay Murchie
Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the Government, has today reported it returned to profit in the first six months of 2010, revealing profits of £1.6 billion, against a loss of £4 billion a year earlier. The rise in profits was primarily due to reduced writedowns with bad loans falling from £13.4 billion to £6.6 billion. The ...

August 2, 2010

HSBC kicks off banking reporting season with doubling of profits

by Kay Murchie
The UK’s banking reporting season has got off to a flying start today after banking giant HSBC reported profits more than doubled, exceeding analysts expectations. Europe's largest bank has today announced a pre-tax profit of $11.1 billion (£7 billion) for the six months to the end of June, compared with $5 billion in the same period a year ...

July 20, 2010

Mortgage lending jumps 15%

by Gill Montia
Gross mortgage lending increased in June, to an estimated £13.1 billion, with the total up 15% on a month earlier and 7% year-on-year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). During the second quarter of the year lending stood at around £35 billion, having risen 17% compared with the previous three months and showing an annual increase of 7%. However, total gross lending ...

July 12, 2010

15,000 victims of fraud in first half of 2010

by Kay Murchie
A report by Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre, has revealed more than 15,000 people have been the victims of fraud during the first six months of the year. The majority of the cases were online shopping and auction frauds and advance fee frauds - where services were not delivered. However, "romance" frauds (where fraudsters gained people's trust and ...

July 6, 2010

House builder Persimmon achieves 16% rise in sales

by Gill Montia
House builder, Persimmon, has reported a rise in sales during the six months to the end of June 2010, with legal completions increasing by over 16% compared with a year earlier, to 4,657. Since early May, private sales have slowed down, partly in line with seasonal trends and partly due to uncertainty prior to the emergency Budget. However, ...

June 30, 2010

Shortage of new builds to underpin UK house prices

by Gill Montia
Housebuilder, Taylor Wimpey, has declared that the underlying shortfall of new build housing and strong levels of demand will continue to underpin UK house prices. The developer is wary of the "ongoing political and economic uncertainty" and warns that a shortage of building land will "artificially constrain" the recovery in new house building, in the medium term. In addition, problems ...

December 9, 2009

Stagecoach profits hit by higher fuel and pension costs

by Kay Murchie
Stagecoach has today reported a fall in first-half profit as a result of higher fuel and pension costs. The bus and rail operator posted a pre-tax profit of £75.5 million in the six months to the end of October - a fall of 28%. However, the profits exceeded market expectations and the group said it was seeing an improvement ...

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