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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Egg hatches rise in UK profits
Egg credit card
Egg now has 2.4 million credit card customers
Shares in Egg have risen after the online bank beat expectations for profits at its UK business.

Pre-tax profits for the July to September period rose to 9.4m in the UK, up from 4.6m in the previous quarter.

Egg said it had gained 107,000 users during the three months, and now had 2.4 million customer.

But spending on Egg's overseas businesses pushed the firm overall into the red, with the group posting a pre-tax loss of 5.1m.

Egg said it was on track to launch in France next month, and added that it aimed to create 1,000 jobs there.

During the three months Egg spent 22m on international development, of which 19.4 went on its French business.

Credit boost

Low interest rates and resilient consumer spending in the UK has helped Egg's credit card business.

During the July to September period Egg added 75,000 credit card customers, with total balances standing at 2,2bn by the end of the three months.

And the company said it was confident of quality of the credit card debt.

"We continue to monitor credit performance closely, and the credit quality of our card portfolio remains strong," said chief executive Paul Gratton.

"Our proposition continues to attract upmarket customers."

Egg said its personal loan customer tally had increased by 16,000 to 132,000.

For the nine months to the end of September, Egg's UK business posted a pre-tax profit of 18.1m compared with a loss of 78.2m for the same period last year.

Overall, the group reported a 3.9m pre-tax loss for the nine months, against a loss of 81.8m last year.

Shares in Egg closed 5p higher at 132p in London on Wednesday.

Egg was created by Prudential in 1998, and the insurance giant still owns 79% of the bank.

See also:

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