Protection up 11% - Friends Life results

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Friends Life has reported an 11% increase in its protection business; its Q3 2014 results have shown.

Corporate benefits also increased to £465m an increase of 14%, with coporate benefits assets under administration now standing at £21.4bn.

The company has completed its disposal of Lombard and has implemented a £317m share buyback.

Friends Life's International IT platform project is continuing with the majority of its new policies now being written on the platform.

The group side of Friends life has seen reductions in its new business, particularly for retirement income which accounted for £24m of the £29m decrease in new business.

Friends Life also said it has made "good progress" in preparing its new retirement propositions for April 2015.

Andy Briggs, group chief executive officer at Friends Life, said: "The group has continued to make good operating progress during the third quarter. I am particularly pleased with the sales momentum in the UK division fuelled by our corporate benefits and protection businesses.

"Development of our new retirement proposition is on track, we have further enhanced our customer engagement, and I look forward with confidence to the launch of the new propositions and the new retail platform in April next year. I am also encouraged by the progress we are making in our International division, with the benefits of the roll out of the new platform and product and sales initiatives coming through.

Briggs continued: "Last but not least, the disposal of Lombard is now complete and we have commenced the associated £317 million share buyback. With the improvement in dividend coverage from this return of capital along with the encouraging sales momentum, we remain well placed to continue to generate cash and make progress towards 1.3 times dividend cover."

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