Virgin Money 

Virgin Money pre-tax profits up £3.4m

Virgin Money pre-tax profits up £3.4m

Virgin Money's profit before tax has increased by £3.4m to £127.2m in the six months to June, when the firm agreed a takeover deal with Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG).

Virgin Money half-year results, out today (26 July), showed profits were up 2.7 per cent while underlying total income increased 5 per cent to £343m, from £327.2, in H1 2017.

Virgin and CYBG agreed a £1.7bn takeover deal in June that the two claimed would create "the first first true national competitor to the large incumbent banks." 

The group's operations would come under the Virgin brand in a licensing deal with Virgin Enterprises, but up to 1,500 jobs could be at risk, the firms said at the time.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive, said: "I am delighted to report that our customer-focused strategy of growth, quality and returns continued to drive strong financial and operational performance during the first half of the year. We also made good progress in delivering on our strategic initiatives.

"The recommended offer made by CYBG for Virgin Money in June reflects confidence in our strategy, our track record of delivery and the complementary models of the two businesses and will accelerate the delivery of our strategic objectives."

Virgin Money is also committed to improving its gender pay gap, which reduced 9 per cent over the last year, as the firm wants to achieve a 50:50 gender balance throughout the company by the end of 2020.

An interim dividend of 2.3 pence per ordinary share is to be paid to shareholders in September.

Kusal Ariyawansa, a chartered financial planner at Manchester-based Appleton Gerrard, said: "They have a strong brand, which is perceived to be trustworthy. As to whether other areas of its business is as incongruent as its tracker fund is, I could not say."

aamina.zafar@ft.com