Paragon interim profit surges to record high on strong lending volumes

June 8 (Reuters) - Paragon Banking Group on Tuesday posted a record first-half underlying profit as lending volumes bounced back from a pandemic-hit 2020, and the company set out a 40 million pound ($56.60 million) buyback plan.

The London-listed company said its underlying profit for the six months ended March 31 rose 45% to 82.9 million pounds ($117.30 million) from 57.2 million pounds a year earlier.

The lender said pandemic-related payment holidays were now at negligible levels, and that it closed the first half with strong new business pipelines in development finance and buy-to-let unit.

“We look forward to the second half with strong capital ratios, prudent liquidity and growing confidence as the UK emerges from the Covid crisis,” Chief Executive Officer Nigel Terrington said. ($1 = 0.7067 pounds) (Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)