LONDON – UK life insurer Friends Provident today announced a 40 percent increase in third-quarter life insurance and pensions sales in the UK spurred on the April reforms in the country.
Friends Provident, which is the UK’s fifth-biggest insurer, said that the income from new business was 1.60 billion pounds in the third quarter, beating expectations of 1.46 billion pounds forecast by analysts. A year ago sales figures totaled 1.14 billion pounds.
Friends Provident also said that UK new business increased 34 percent to £3.04 billion compared with £2.27 billion reported at the same time last year. Total International new business increased by 51 percent to £1.59 billion, the group added.
“In the UK our leading group pensions franchise has continued to support profitable growth, with a useful contribution from individual pensions business in the third quarter,” said Ben Gunn, chief executive of Life and Pensions at Friends Provident. “We now intend to become a major player in the investment market, whilst still further building profitability and presence in our two other core product segments.”
The group also said that the life business market continued to be competitive. Hence it has taken measures like repositioning the pricing on its products and renegotiating reinsurance arrangements very early this year in order to minimize the impact on its bottom line.
“International growth has been excellent in the year so far, with good prospects for a healthy contribution in the fourth quarter. These results clearly demonstrate our ability to drive growth in both the UK and International businesses,” said a statement issued by the group.