Skipton continues to grow customer base

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Skipton Building Society yesterday said it had achieved “excellent” half-year results after recording an increase in profits and members.

In the six months to June 30 2014, the statutory group pre-tax profits were £90.0m, an increase of £61.7m from £28.3m recorded in the same period last year.

Group chief executive David Cutter said: “The society has continued to make good progress in growing its customer base, showing above-market growth in both its mortgage and savings balances.

“It has also increased its financial strength with profits and capital further improved, providing current and future members with the reassurance that they are dealing with a solid financial institution with a bright future.

“Significant investment continues to be made in the growth and development of the society, the products and services we provide, the people who make Skipton what it is, and the communities in which we operate.”

The society’s total number of customers stood at 785,675 on June 30 2014, compared with 763,407 on December 31 2013.

Underlying group pre-tax profits amounted to £84.9m, an increase of £50.4m from £34.5m for the six months ended June 30 2013.

Earlier this week, Skipton agreed to sell its entire shareholding in The Private Health Partnership (PHP), its private medical insurance provider, to Punter Southall Health and Protection Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

Estate agency and property services firm the Connells Group has acquired Peter Alan, an estate agency business with 26 branches across Wales, for £16.4m.

The Connells Group, which has acquired the business from Principality Building Society, said it was well-placed to build on Peter Alan’s success.

Connells Group, a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, has already acquired five local estate agency and lettings businesses since the start of the year as part of a programme to expand the group’s network.

Peter Alan will continue to trade under its existing brand with the existing managing director Andrew Barry reporting to Connells Group Estate Agency chief executive David Plumtree.