Bradford & Bingley makes solid progress

Bradford & Bingley says the group is making solid progress and currently expects trading profit for the full year to be towards the top end of estimates.

It says its lending business has continued to show good growth with arrears levels and charges for loan loss provisions remaining low.

Refocus of the core retail business has been significantly advanced with the announcement of a partnership with Legal & General in November 2004.

B&B’s cost-cutting programme remains on track to remove 40m by the end of 2006; the related exceptional charge is currently expected to be in the region of 40m with the majority to fall in 2004.

Steven Crawshaw, group chief executive, says: “Bradford & Bingley has continued to make solid progress against the challenges we set out in the spring.

“Our lending business has continued to grow and we have made significant progress with our retail business.

“I am delighted that the disposal programme is now complete and progress continues to be made on costs, giving rise to a simpler, stronger business to operate in market conditions that we currently expect to soften during 2005.”