Aldermore doubles first-half profit

Aldermore Group’s profit more than doubled in the first half of the year, beating expectations, as the up-and-coming British lender issued more mortgages and loans to small and medium-sized businesses.

The bank’s stock rose as much as 10 per cent, making it the top gainer on the FTSE-350 Banks Financial Index early on Thursday.

Aldermore, the latest in a wave of banks to list in London with the aim of challenging Britain’s “Big 5” lenders, reported underlying pretax profit of 44 million pounds for the six months ended June.

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This was above the consensus forecast of £40m compiled by Aldermore with input from eight analysts.

The so-called ‘challenger’ bank joins rivals Virgin Money, OneSavings Bank Plc and Shawbrook Group Plc in reporting a bigger first-half profit, fuelled by greater lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Aldermore said it was on track for net loan growth of about £1.4bn, or 30 per cent, for full-year 2015.

RBC Capital raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” and increased its target price to 325 pence from 300 pence, citing lower-than-expected impairments.

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