Virgin Money says it has weathered the Brexit storm as it grows profit in first half of 2016

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Richard Branson with Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Challenger bank Virgin Money reported an increase in profits during the first half of 2016, and said it had weathered the Brexit vote storm, with very little changed in its outlook.

The figures

Statutory profit before tax was up to £93.7m, a 70 per cent jump from the first half, when profit of £55m was recorded. Underlying pre-tax profit rose by 53 per cent to £101.8m from £66.4m.

The company reported that net interest income grew by 14 per cent year-on-year, to £252.2m from £220.3m.

Virgin Money also said it had gross lending market share of 3.6 per cent and net lending market share of 12.7 per cent at the end of May 2016.

The bank will pay an interim dividend of 1.6p per share in September.

Shares in the group were up 6.2 per cent in early trading.

25 July 2016 @ 4:30pmVirgin Money Holdings (VM.)

Why it's interesting

Despite challenger banks on the whole taking quite a beating in the wake of the EU referendum, Virgin Money was quite chipper about its position following the vote, and said it's "in a strong position to deal with a period of post-referendum uncertainty".

"Since the vote to leave the EU we have experienced continued strong customer demand and no evidence of changes in customer behaviour," the bank added.

It issued guidance for a net interest margin of up to 160 basis points for the year, depending on whether the Bank of England changes interest rates.

What Virgin Money said

"Since the vote to leave the EU we have experienced continued strong customer demand and no evidence of changes in customer behaviour," said chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

"Virgin Money is in a strong position to deal with a period of post-referendum uncertainty as a low risk retail bank with a high-quality asset base and unburdened by legacy conduct issues.

"We remain on track to achieve our target of £3bn of high quality credit card balances by the end of 2017 and remain focused on maintaining the high-quality of our mortgage business. We look to the future with confidence and will continue to drive our customer-focused strategy of growth, quality and returns."

In short

Virgin Money is brushing off Brexit for now.

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