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Nationwide reports 13 percent fall in first quarter profit

Nationwide reports 13 percent fall in first quarter profit
FILE PHOTO: A woman passes a branch of the Nationwide Building Society in London May 27, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo   -   Copyright  Toby Melville(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Nationwide Building Society <POB_p.L> said on Friday its pre-tax profit fell by 13 percent in the first quarter as intense competition and low interest rates dented its performance.

Nationwide, one of the country’s top three mortgage lenders, reported a pre-tax profit of 281 million pounds, down from 322 million a year earlier.

It has suffered repeated falls in quarterly earnings and has focussed on home loans since cutting other product lines such as car insurance last year.

“Our outlook is unchanged from the full year,” Chief Executive Joe Garner said in a statement, adding it expects the economy to grow at a modest pace over the next 12 months and the housing market to remain relatively subdued.

“We are observing consumers adapting their behaviours in response to pressure on disposable income,” he said.

Nationwide’s gross mortgage lending rose 3.7 percent to 8.4 billion pounds from 8.1 billion, breaking a streak of declines.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; editing by Susan Fenton and Jason Neely)

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