Northern Rock has announced strong results for first quarter mortgage lending and is upbeat about meeting targets for the rest of the year.
Net residential lending in the first three months of 2003 was up by 23%. Although personal unsecured and commercial lending was not as strong, Northern Rock said there was still £4.2bn of agreed business in the pipeline at the beginning of quarter two ‘ up 27% on last year.
Northern Rock said it was keeping redemptions low by allowing existing borrowers to transfer to any product that was available to new borrowers, and had managed to lower its average loan to value ratio and number of first-time buyers.
Performance was in keeping with projected targets of achieving between 15% and 25% annual growth of assets under management, and giving a return on equity to shareholders of between 18% and 21%.
Adam Applegarth, chief executive of Northern Rock, said: ‘Operating performance in the first quarter of the year continues to be very strong. It is in line with our operational expectations and the strategic objectives and builds on the excellent progress we made in 2002. We are again set to deliver with our low cost, high quality, high growth strategy.
He added: ‘A further pre-close period announcement will be made towards the end of May and a more detailed report on Northern Rock’s performance will be provided at the time of the interim results which will be announced on 17 July.’