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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 08:39 GMT
'Buoyant' house market boosts B&B
Bradford and Bingley branch front
A pick up in mortgage sales boosted business
Bradford & Bingley (B&B) has thanked a "buoyant" property market for an 11% rise in full-year profits.

The West Yorkshire-based bank said a sharp rise in mortgage sales in the second half of the year lifted pre-tax profits to 310.1m ($539m).

New residential lending almost doubled between July and December to 4.7bn from 2.7bn in the first half of 2005.

It added the buy-to-let market had recovered more strongly than the entire market and the trend should continue.

We are operating in a robust mortgage market
Bradford & Bingley

"Our lending business began 2006 in a very good position," B&B said.

"The momentum of record lending volumes in the second half of 2005 has continued with a strong pipeline in early 2006 and margins are stable.

"We are operating in a robust mortgage market and see good prospects for our chosen specialist segments, which positions us well for future growth," it added.

The UK's ninth biggest bank also revealed it had managed to cut costs through a restructuring drive that had left it "stronger, leaner and better able to convert growth into profit".

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