Nationwide Building Society has revealed a 40% plunge in half-year profits, after taking a hit from payment protection insurance and ramping up investment despite tough market conditions.

The mutual posted pre-tax profits of £309 million for the six months to September 30, down from £516 million a year earlier.

Underlying pre-tax profits dropped 33% to £307 million, down from £460 million a year ago.

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It booked a £36 million additional payment protection insurance (PPI) charge for compensation, after a last-minute surge in claims before the August 31 deadline, taking its total bill for the half year to £52 million.

Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide, said the group continued to "prioritise our members' interests over short-term profits".

He said: "Our profits were lower as we invested in meeting the needs of our members, in our service and in our future.
"As we announced in September, profits were also affected by an additional PPI charge."

He added: "We continued to grow our mortgages, deposits and current accounts, but at a more moderate pace, as we focus on broadening relationships with our members and helping to meet more of their financial needs."

Buchanan Galleries shopping centre owner Landsec has announced plans to appoint a new chief executive, a week after challenges in the retail sector dragged it to a half-year loss.

The group, whose portfolio includes Trinity Leeds in West Yorkshire and Westgate Oxford, said that Mark Allen, current chief executive at St Modwen Properties, will lead the business.

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Landsec said current chief executive Robert Noel will continue in his role for "the time being", and a further announcement will confirm his exit date.

Mr Allen will take over the position and become an executive director "no later than June 1" next year, but his start date is still to be confirmed.

He has led regeneration specialist St Modwen Properties since November 2016. Before that he was chief executive of student accommodation firm Unite Group for 10 years.

Cressida Hogg, chairman of Landsec, said: "I am delighted to announce that Mark is to join Landsec as our next CEO. Mark has been a highly successful CEO of two companies in the property sector."

The appointment comes at a testing period for retail property owners such as Landsec, with the company reporting a £368 million hit to the value of its properties due to woes in the retail sector in its half-year figures last week.

Mr Allen said: "The world of real estate is undergoing significant change and I am confident, with the skills and experience already in place, that great opportunities lie ahead.
"I am looking forward to working with everyone at Landsec, the board and its partners and customers."

Rightmove has appointed Andrew Fisher, the former head of Apple-owned app Shazam, as its next chairman.

Mr Fisher will take over from Scott Forbes who will retire from the role at the end of December after 14 years.

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The new boss was the executive chairman of UK-based app Shazam, which allows users to identify songs with their phone, when Apple agreed to buy it in 2017.

Mr Fisher, who is a non-executive director of both Marks & Spencer and group, will take over the new role on January 1.

Peter Brooks-Johnson, Rightmove's chief executive officer, said: "I'd like to thank Scott for his invaluable contribution to Rightmove's success over the past years and particularly the support he's shown me over the past three years as CEO.

"I'm delighted to welcome Andrew to Rightmove and look forward to working with him as we continue to innovate to make home moving easier."

Mr Forbes said: "It is with great pleasure and confidence that I hand over the chair to Andrew. His experience developing innovative digital businesses will be a great asset to Rightmove."

The departure of Mr Forbes was made inevitable due to revised corporate governance rules stipulating that listed company chairs are no longer independent after more than nine years on the board.

The property website business has seen its shares continue to rise over the year despite the sluggish state of the UK housing market, with platform views reaching record highs.