Consumer demand holding up

Robust outlook at Virgin Money and Bellway

Virgin flag 2Virgin Money: The bank said it is experiencing robust customer demand with stable customer behaviour.

It saw gross mortgage lending of £6.5 billion to the end of Q3, a market share of 3.5% and net mortgage lending of £3.2bn, a market share of 10%.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive, said: “Our low risk business model and customer-focused strategy continues to deliver excellent results and I am delighted with the ongoing momentum of the business. 

“The UK housing market continues to prove resilient and in a competitive mortgage market we remain focused on growing assets at the right price and quality. Our prime credit card business is developing as planned and, as a responsible lender, the strict and consistent application of underwriting standards supports a low and stable cost of risk as well as resilience in the future. 

“Ensuring that our customers are always at the heart of our strategy has seen our overall Net Promoter Score improve to +40 in 2017, making Virgin Money one of the best-rated retail banks in the UK for customer satisfaction. I am delighted that more customers than ever before would recommend us to their friends and family.” 

“The strength of our core business and our focus on doing the right thing for customers, combined with our exciting plans for the future, gives us real conviction in our longer term prospects. We look forward to saying more about our plans for the future at our investor update on 16 November.”

Bellway: The housebuilder reported another year of volume growth with pre-tax profits up 12.6% for the year on a 14.2% rise in revenue. The dividend rise 13% to 122 (2016: 108p).

Demand for new housing remained strong across the country, with the group taking an average of 187 reservations per week (2016 – 169), an increase of 10.7%.  Site visitor numbers were ahead of the prior year and website traffic continued to rise.

Executive chairman John Watson said: “Bellway has invested significantly in land, maintaining its rigorous and disciplined investment criteria and with a strong balance sheet and focus on operational delivery, I am confident that the Group is well positioned to deliver further growth, this year and beyond.”


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