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Funding Corporation profits surge

The Funding Corporation (TFC) has seen a rise in profitability in the past year.

The management owned financial services business, which is funded by Barclays and car dealership IM Group, saw a 212.5% profit growth and a 146.7% increase in turnover in 2004.

TFC made an operating profit of £5m to December 2004 - up from £1.6m in 2003. That performance was achieved on sales of £118.7m, up from £48.1m.

"When TFC was established in October 2001, it became the biggest start-up finance company in the UK and the biggest company start-up in the UK, of any status, since the mid-1990s. It was a challenging period to say the least, but we focussed and drove forward - and it's paying off," said Jim Rowley, managing director.

TFC provides loans to the consumer market through more than 100 affinity organisations and 1,000 car, motorcycle and caravan dealers.

It also sells cars to the public under the Approved Car Finance banner.

"Our five-year plan is £1bn worth of loans by October 2006 - we are on target. Given we launched in the economic aftermath of 9/11 it was, of course, initially a massively tough challenge.

"Nevertheless we have found and developed niches, and we have won profitable business in fierce competition with more established providers," said Mr Rowley.

"We have made and agreed affinity deals with more than 100 brands - including RAC Loans most recently.”

In May 2003 TFC acquired the assets of Approved Car Finance from the receiver and turned the business around into a highly successful and profitable operation selling 10,000 cars a year.

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