Buy-to-let lender Paragon's first-half profit rises 21 pct

Tue May 20, 2014 2:15am EDT

May 20 (Reuters) - The Paragon Group of Companies Plc , the parent of buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages, reported a 21 percent rise in underlying pretax profit in the first half of its fiscal year, benefiting from increased loan portfolios and demand for buy-to-let loans.

The company, an FTSE-250 component, reported an underlying pretax profit of 57.9 million pounds ($97.4 million) for the six months ended March 31, up from 47.9 million a year earlier. ($1 = 0.5943 British Pounds) (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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