Protection sales drop at Friends Life as new business rises

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Friends Life has increased new business in the last three months, with total sales reaching £292m - up 8% on the same period last year, its first quarter business update shows.

UK sales were up to £197m, compared to £172m in March last year.

However, protection annual percentage earnings (APE) to 31 March 2012 were £18m, compared with £92m for the full year 2011.

Sales volumes of £18m APE imply a reduction against the 2011 full year position, which Friends Life said principally reflects a decision to target the group's higher value product range.

The provider said protection business had ‘evolved significantly' compared to the same period in 2011 and the Group expects to hit its 2013 protection targets..

The scheduled launch, at the beginning of March 2012, of the Group's partnership with
Connells Group has been delivered successfully and the first policies have already been written.

Andy Briggs, group chief executive of Friends Life Group said: "Momentum in Friends Life has been maintained with materially improved business results, especially in the UK where our strategy is working and helping to drive cost synergies and efficiencies throughout all our activities.

"While the international division has faced some adverse operating and market conditions impacting volumes, Lombard has generated strong sales. The capital position remains strong and we are well placed for the opportunities emerging this year through auto-enrolment and RDR."

 

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