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Pre-tax profits at finance company Northridge up by 50% in 12 months


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Confident: NIIB’s James McGee

Confident: NIIB’s James McGee

Confident: NIIB’s James McGee

One of Northern Ireland's most profitable finance companies has announced a pre-tax profit of £33.8m for last year, up 50% on the previous 12 months.

The NIIB Group, which trades as Northridge Finance, reported a 36.5% rise in its income, with a total operating income of £55m.

The business is based in Bank of Ireland's Belfast headquarters and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank.

NIIB's main activities involve providing credit for hire purchase and loans and lease financing.

Most of its business is done through car dealers and finance businesses.

NIIB, headed by managing director James McGee, employs 124 people. New chairman John Tudor joined last November.

The firm's report for the period shows it made £2.3m in loans and advances to customers throughout 2019.

The growing loan book has been bolstered in recent years by the acquisition of English-based Marshall Leasing Ltd, which was purchased in late 2017.

That subsidiary paid a £3m dividend to NIIB during the period. NIIB itself paid a dividend of £25m to Bank of Ireland.

The firm paid out £30m a year earlier, £10m more than handed over in 2018.

The report covers a period ahead of the outbreak of coronavirus.

It also identifies Brexit as a factor that has caused - and could continue to cause - much uncertainty in areas such as pricing, consumer confidence and demand and customers' ability to pay in the future.

Looking ahead, the company said it was sufficiently diversified across geographical markets, products and distribution channels to mitigate any risks.

NIIB was established as Northridge Finance in Bangor in 1956 and bought by Bank of Ireland in 1984.

It entered the Scottish market in 1999, following that up with moves into England and Wales in 2003.

In 2016 the firm merged its two brands, NIIB and Northridge, into a single brand called Northridge Finance.

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