Belfast Telegraph

Asset finance group NIIB reports £22.4m pre-tax profit in 2018

NIIB managing director James McGee
NIIB managing director James McGee
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

One of Northern Ireland's most profitable companies has announced a pre-tax profit of £22.4m for 2018.

Asset finance company NIIB Group, which trades as Northridge Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of Ireland UK, saw a 4% rise in its earnings for the 12 months to December 31, recording a turnover of £40.3m.

Based within Bank of Ireland's Belfast headquarters, the company's main activities involve providing credit for hire purchase and loans and lease financing. Most of its businesses is done through car dealers and finance firms.

Headed by managing director James McGee, NIIB employs 121 people across the company, including 85 administrative staff and 36 in sales and distribution.

Established in Bangor in 1956 as Northridge Finance, the company was bought by the Bank of Ireland group in 1984. It has operated as one of the biggest independent finance companies in Northern Ireland ever since.

The company entered the Scottish market in 1999, which was followed by a move into England and Wales in 2003.

Three years ago the firm merged its two brands, NIIB and Northridge into a single brand -Northridge Finance.

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A new company report for NIIB showed £1.8bn of loans on its books. The growing loan book was bolstered by the acquisition of English-based Marshall Leasing Ltd in late 2017.

NIIB has proved a lucrative arm for Bank of Ireland's UK operations. During 2018 the Belfast-based finance company paid a dividend of £30m to its parent undertaking, £10m more than was paid out in 2017.

Last week Bank of Ireland UK announced a pre-tax profit of £173m for 2018 - 14.5% higher than in 2017. It came on the back of an 11.5% hike in its UK earnings to £525m.

The lender posted a 30% rise in the underlying profit of its Northern Ireland business to £69m during 2018, against a modest dip in its incomes from £147m to £145m over the 12 months.

Belfast Telegraph