Standard Life Profit Up On UK Growth, Cost Cuts
Published Tuesday, 14 August 2012 10:55 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Edinburgh-based Standard Life, Britain's fifth-biggest insurer, made an operating profit of 302 million pounds ($474 million) in the first six months of 2012, surpassing the 254 million pounds expected by analysts in a company poll
The improvement was driven by Standard Life's British business, where profit jumped 62 percent as sales of self-invested personal pensions rose by a fifth and more customers signed up to the insurer's online investment platforms.
Standard Life also benefited from an 18 percent drop in set-up costs associated with writing new life insurance business.
That offset a 30 percent decline in profit at its Canadian unit, blamed on lower sales of corporate saving and retirement products.
Standard Life, which has been investing in new products and technology to prepare for regulatory changes which will ban insurers from paying commission to middlemen, said it was on course to keep growing despite a "challenging" environment.
The company is paying a dividend of 4.9 pence per share, an increase of 6.5 percent.
Standard Life shares closed at 256.7 pence on Monday, valuing the company at about 6.1 billion pounds. The stock has risen 24 percent since the start of the year, outperforming a 16 percent increase for the Stoxx 600 European insurance share index.
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