Signs of recovery for UK's worst-performing bank

21 February 2007

Second-half figures for UK bank Alliance and Leicester (A&L) show a 13 per cent rise in profit for the company, whose bank stock had been the worst-performing in the country.

The figures, which indicate a net income raise to $433 million from first half showing of close to $400 million, represent a better than expected performance for the bank whose stock showed a 6.3 per cent decline in 2007.

The improvement for the UK's eighth-largest bank has been attributed by analysts and A&L chief executive Richard Pym to increased sales of mortgages, the sale of a subsidiary and a steadying of charges for bad debts.

Last year A&L's stocks were the subject of a proposed takeover from French bank Credit Agricole, at which time it was the UK's best-performing banking stock. However, share prices dipped dramatically when the bank pulled out of the deal.

Signs of recovery for A&L come at a time when the bank have recently announced they are to follow last year's purchase of $300 million of their own stock with a further $600 million purchase in 2007.

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