- Secure Trust Bank has issued its H1 results during which it traded strongly and achieved underlying profit before tax of £15.2m, up 48% compared with the same period last year.

The benefits of its previous acquisitions, strong controlled growth in the lending book and the entry into SME markets have contributed to a new record level of underlying profit.

Financial highlights:

· Operating income £43.8m (H1 2013: £36.3m)

· Underlying profit before tax £15.2m (H1 2013: £10.3m) representing growth of 48%

· Reported profit before tax £11.4m (H1 2013: £6.2m) representing growth of 84%

· Capital ratios, liquidity and funding positions remain strong

· Underlying annualised return on average equity 39.8% (H1 2013 annualised: 33.3%)

· Earnings per share 53.6p (H1 2013: 30.5p)

· Underlying earnings per share 73.8p (H1 2013: 50.4p)

· Interim dividend per share of 16p, a 7% increase (H1 2013: 15p)

Operational highlights:

· Overall loan book increased to £447.8m; a 22% increase on H1 2013: £365.8m

· Customer deposits increased to £476.8m; a 23% increase on H1 2013: £386.7m

· Total customer numbers increased to 391,610; a 20% increase on H1 2013: 325,052

· Impairments remain below levels expected at origination

· Real Estate Finance team established with a substantial pipeline of business opportunities being worked on

· Invoice Finance executive team recruitment completed, testing of the operating platform is progressing and business due to commence during Q3

· Successful completion of fund raising increased capital resources by 77%

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