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Just Retirement sees new equity release business increase by 10%

Just Retirement lent £81.8m in equity release mortgage advances in the six months to the end of last year, its interim figures reveal.

The figures represent a 10.7% increase from the £73.9m Just Retirement lent in the same period in 2007.

Since the business started in 2005, Just Retirement has advanced almost 9,000 equity release mortgages.

Although the company will consider LTVs of up to 40% in some cases, the average LTV of its existing mortgage stock is just 25%, including interest and house price movements.

As at December 31 2008 Just Retirement held over 50% of its portfolio in mortgages, cash and gilts, compared with 42% a year ago.

The company made a pre-tax profit of £22.6m as at the end of December 2008, compared with £22m the previous year.

Mike Fuller, chief executive of Just Retirement, says: “Just Retirement has faced the exceptionally challenging conditions of 2008 with two principle goals: profitability and capital strength. The results for the first six months of our financial year demonstrate that we have been successful in both aims.”

Dean Mirfin, group director at Key Retirement Solutions, welcomes the figures as a good sign for the equity release business.

He says: “It bodes well that business levels are holding up. It will be interesting to see the figures for Q1 as to how the overall market is faring.”

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