BRITAIN’S second biggest building society unveiled “strong” half-year results – and said it was well-placed to grow and prosper.

The Yorkshire Building Society, which has its origins in Huddersfield, more than doubled lending volumes and increased core operating profits by almost 70% during the first six months of 2011.

The Bradford-based mutual, which has already announced plans to merge with the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society and acquire the savings and mortgage book of internet bank Egg, said these deals would make the Yorkshire even better placed to compete in the UK retail financial services market.

During the six months, the society posted group pre-tax profits of £73.1m – with core operating profits at £90.2m.

Gross mortgage lending more than doubled on the same period last year to bring total mortgage balances to £23.1bn.

Member savings balances totalled £21.0bn – while all its mortgages were funded by savings balances and reserves.

Loans in arrears by more than three months by volume now stand at 1.80% – a figure below the industry average.

The society said integration with the Chelsea Building Society was “well advanced” with £27m of annualised cost savings achieved and further savings expected by end of 2011.

The Yorkshire opened nine new agencies in the first half of the year – at a time when many other financial institutions were closing outlets.

The society launched a string of new products during the period under review as well as winning several awards for its mortgages.

Chief executive Iain Cornish said: “Whilst the economic climate remains challenging, we are confident that the Yorkshire is very well placed to continue to grow and prosper”.