Profits for the UK's ninth-largest bank enjoyed rose 11 per cent in 2005 to Â£310.1 million, with second-half new mortgage lending hitting a record Â£4.7 billion, pushing residential lending balances up ten per cent to Â£26.1 billion.
Welcoming the results, B&B's chief executive Steven Crawshaw commented: "Bradford & Bingley has had a very successful year and we have made a strong start to 2006. Our business is stronger, leaner and better able to convert growth into profit.
"The momentum of record lending volumes in the second half of 2005 has continued with a strong pipeline as we enter 2006. The mortgage market is robust and we see good prospects for our chosen specialist segments, which positions us well for future growth."
B&B's strong mortgage lending performance will raise expectations among lenders of a sustained housing market upturn, especially in the light of a number of pessimistic indicators in recent weeks.
A study released yesterday by researcher Datamonitor suggested that the mortgage lending environment remained challenging, forecasting flat growth throughout 2006 and 2007.
B&B shares have risen slightly on the back of the strong results, increasing by 3.75p to 454p on mid-morning trading.