Nationwide doubles 2013 profit, hits capital target early

LONDON Wed May 28, 2014 2:45am EDT

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LONDON May 28 (Reuters) - Nationwide, Britain's biggest customer-owned lender, said it more than doubled its underlying profit last year and hit a capital target set by Britain's financial regulator a year ahead of schedule.

Nationwide on Wednesday reported a 113 percent rise in underlying profit to 924 million pounds ($1.55 billion) in the year to end March, benefiting from increased lending and a decline in costs.

"Our excellent financial performance and the successful achievement of a 3 percent leverage ratio, well ahead of plan, shows Nationwide has emerged from the financial crisis in better shape than ever," said Chief Executive Graham Beale.

($1 = 0.5952 British Pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Huw Jones)