Paragon leads the way with rise in lending and 35pc profit jump

STRONG demand for rented accommodation helped push profits up at buy-to-let specialist Paragon, with the company yesterday predicting further growth in lending for the rest of the year.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of March rose 34.8 per cent to £39.5m and the company also raised its interim dividend by 12.5 per cent, lifting it to 1.35p.

“The group’s performance continues to be strong, with excellent profit growth, credit performance and cash generation during the first half of the financial year,” said chief executive Nigel Terrington in a statement. “New lending has progressed well, with a strong application flow building to a meaningful pipeline of business.”

Paragon shares jumped nearly one per cent yesterday to 190p.